The Scottish Sun reports that Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard Javon Beard has been jailed for up to 18 years in a Nevada prison following an armed robbery conviction. He is reportedly one year into his jail term, which is six years minimum and 18 years at most.
According to friends of the 40-year-old bouncer, who became famous after his book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days, Beard struggled after Jackson’s death in 2009. He was also reportedly struggling with depression and having a hard time coping with the sex abuse allegations leveled against Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck in HBO’s controversial documentary Leaving Neverland.
“Javon and Bill ended up becoming quite famous when they were Michael’s bodyguards and they made good money,” a close friend said. “But after Michael’s death, which hit them both hard, Bill carried on with his old life but Javon wanted to carry on living the showbiz lifestyle he’d become used to.”
According to the source, the lawsuit from Robson and Safechuck led to people asking Beard about the accusations.
“He found himself defending Michael all the time and it took its toll on him. He made some bad decisions and now he’s paying the price in prison. It’s been tough for him, he’s been feeling very depressed and he’s lost touch with a lot of his old friends.”
Jackson’s other former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, is one of the forces behind Michael Jackson: Chase the Truth, which attacks Leaving Neverland and seeks to discredit Robson and Safechuck. Per The Inquisitr, Fiddes claims that all of the accusations against Jackson — past and present — are fabricated to make money off denigrating the King of Pop’s legacy.
The documentary also highlights that both Robson and Safechuck filed an unsuccessful civil action against the Jackson estate. After it failed, they teamed up with Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed.
Comedian Dave Chappelle recently used his Netflix special, Sticks & Stones, to reveal that he doesn’t believe Robson and Safechuck, as The Inquisitr previously reported. The pair responded to Chappelle’s comments, suggesting that they say more about him than anyone else and lamented other sexual abuse survivors that may be discouraged to reveal their stories thanks to people like Chappelle.
Robson’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, also commented on Chappelle’s statements and said that he should look to fellow comedian Hannibal Buress, who used his platform to shine a light on Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual assaults.