Following Michael Jackson’s death from a combination of drugs, including propofol and lorazepam, the controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland has caused many to re-evaluate the singer’s legacy. During the film, Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse Jackson of sexually abusing them as children, echoing previous allegations made against the pop star while he was alive.
Jackson’s former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, has been one of the most vocal supporters of the King of Pop in the wake of the new accusations. Metro reports that Fiddes claims the image of Jackson created by Leaving Neverland is not true, and suggests that only those closest to him knew who he really was.
“This whole pedophile thing is complete nonsense,” he said. “The guy had girlfriends and had a legitimate marriage to Lisa Marie [Presley], that was the way he lived his life.”
Fiddes also claims that he and others close to Jackson would sneak girls into his room.
As for the allegations leveled against Jackson in Leaving Neverland, Fiddes claims that it’s “impossible” for the claims to be true, highlighting that Jackson was “hardly” at Neverland ranch — the location of the alleged abuse.
“We had a running joke he was never there. He had to be in Los Angeles to conduct business, it’s about four hours’ drive from the mountains and he hated the drive, so he was very rarely there. He was there to make public appearances. He was much more comfortable at the Beverly Wiltshire in a suite.”
— Matt Fiddes (@MattFiddesUK) June 14, 2012
During a previous interview, Fiddes said that Jackson found it difficult to find a girlfriend due to his level of fame. He claims that the late pop star often found himself on dates with women that just wanted to talk about his music and lifestyle as opposed to having a real relationship.
Per Variety, the Jackson estate’s lawyers, John Branca and Howard Weitzman, believe that the accusations against Jackson are part of a “racist” movement to punish the singer for his fame. According to Branca, this movement has been in existence since the mid-1980s. He claims that much of the media has no interest in whether Jackson is guilty or not “because it’s not controversial enough.”
Branca has also been critical of Leaving Neverland. He says that it’s one-sided, and highlights that director Dan Reed didn’t look at any other angles of the story. In response, Reed claims that he did everything he could to poke holes in Robson and Safechuck’s accounts of abuse.