With the release of Leaving Neverland, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children, the image of the King of Pop has transformed dramatically from what it was before his death. While the 2005 sexual assault accusations definitely tainted the star’s reputation, his legacy has been put on trial due to the controversial HBO documentary, which has caused backlash from supporters and those close to him that believe it is ill-intentioned.
Jackson’s former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, is perhaps Jackson’s most ardent defender. Per Radar Online, Fiddes claims that despite the fame, Jackson always remained humble.
“Michael had no ego. He was the biggest star in the world but the most humble man you ever met,” he said.
According to Fiddes, Robson and Safechuck are motivated by nothing other than money, and he suggested they timed their accusations so they wouldn’t have to deal with pushback from Jackson while he was alive.
“They need to go back to the rock they crawled out from under and tell the truth. They are just after money.”
As The Inquisitr reported, Fiddes said that Jackson was never the same after the accusations of sexual assault leveled against him in 2005. Although the subsequent trial deemed him not guilty of the charges against him, Jackson reportedly had a hard time eating and sleeping following the ordeal and believed that everyone was out to get him.
“He was a man scared of his own shadow,” Fiddes said. “He was a changed man, he wouldn’t trust anybody. He would test us.”
Happy 61st birthday to my late friend @michaeljackson who taught me more about persistence, dedication, goal setting, business and gave me the education to believe in yourself!We miss you more! ???? Matt and family! #michaeljackson #kingofpop #happybirthday #mattfiddes #MJFam pic.twitter.com/DgGGsvKsC2
— Matt Fiddes (@MattFiddesUK) August 29, 2019
Despite the controversy surrounding Leaving Neverland and the accusations it spotlights, Vice News reported that it won a Creative Arts Emmy for Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Special. Per Slate, the film’s director, Dan Reed, spoke about accusations that he was motivated by money and claims that Jackson’s estate and family are as well.
“And of course in many ways it is about money, but it’s about the Jacksons’ money and their desire to hang onto it and to retain the value of their asset, which is, of course, Jackson’s catalog and his reputation.”
In response to Reed’s film, Fiddes and others participated in the documentary, Michael Jackson: Chase the Truth, in which they attempt to discredit the allegations brought forth in Reed’s controversial doc. As The Inquisitr reported, Fiddes used his appearance in the movie to claim that all of Jackson’s accusers are motivated by money.
In addition, writer and Jackson biographer Mike Smallcombe highlighted that both Robson and Safechuck had defended the late pop star under oath in the past, which makes them perjurers.