WASHINGTON. The four-hour HBO Dan Reed documentary “Leaving Neverland” left me fuming. Not at the bizarre rock star with the pixie nose, comical high-pitch voice, and revolting compulsion to hang out with young boys, but the so-called mothers who allowed their sons to have sleepovers, they allege, in Michael Jackson’s bedroom.
In Michael Jackson’s bed.
Where were the parents?
Most disgusting was the near orgasmic expressions of ecstasy on the faces of Stephanie Safechuck and Joy Robson, mothers of boys James and Wade. Ecstasy as they recalled the free travel, luxury hotel stays, visits to lavish Jackson homes, chef-prepared meals, French Champaign, and envelopes stuffed with cash, courtesy of the “King of Pop.”
“We were so excited,” recalls Stephanie Safechuck. “This was big for us. Nobody can befriend him [Michael Jackson]. He has to befriend people. He’s unapproachable. So, for him to want to be our friend, it was… oh my God! How lucky are we?”
While the Safechucks’ were with Jackson on his European concert tour, the couple let down their guard.
“He flies you first class. You have a limo waiting for you at the airport. Amazing! You know, it’s a life of the rich and famous.”
And it was the bright lights of Paris that blinded the Safechucks to their parental duty.
“It seemed like it was a natural thing that happened. My husband and I have to have said [to Jimmy], ‘Yes, you can go sleep with Michael.’”
According to Jim Safechuck, it was in Paris that Jackson first molested him sexually.
Wade Robson recalls the time his entire family stayed with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch. His parents thought nothing of leaving their seven-year-old boy in the care of a perfect stranger.
Their first night alone, says Wade, Jackson molested him, which continued even after the boy’s parents returned to the Neverland Ranch.
“Once the abuse started, within that first week, every night that I was with him, there was abuse; while my mother was, you know, next door.”
But Neverland conjures brighter recollections for mother Joy Robson.
“I have some really, really happy memories from Neverland. We’d drive in and forget about everything that was going on in your life. Forget about all your problems. You were in Neverland. It was a fantasy.”
And if the charges of abuse are true, Joy Robson also forgot to consider the safety of her child in the company of a total stranger, famous though he may have been.
The Michael Jackson estate is suing HBO to the tune of $100 million. The suit says the documentary makers failed to reach out to the Jackson family for comment on the sexual allegations. And estate attorneys also claim HBO violated a “non-disparagement agreement” they made as part of its contract to broadcast the pop star’s “Dangerous” world tour in 1992.
According to Jaburg/Wilk, Attorneys at Law:
“It seems that, regardless of where [state] you are, agreeing to a non-disparagement clause in a contract… may expose you to dire consequences if you say anything to anybody that may in some way ‘disparage’ the other party to the contract. It could be anything. Your words do not have to be false or defamatory or even mean spirited… [and] you could get hit for paying the costs and attorney fees of the party who sued you.”
In other words, even if the allegations leveled against Jackson in the HBO documentary were proven factual beyond all doubt, truth is no defense.
That contractual clause indicates that Jackson was nothing if not forward thinking.
Hollywood’s pedophilia problem
And while we’re on the subject, it has been alleged, by actor Corey Feldman for one, that the entertainment industry has a pedophilia problem. Feldman contends he and other child stars were sexually molested by powerful Hollywood insiders, many of whom still work in the industry.
Hollywood pedophilia was the subject of the 2014 documentary film “Open Secret.”
As entertainment columnist A.J. Benza noted in his podcast “Fame is a Bitch”:
“It’s a great documentary about rampant pedophilia in Hollywood. Meanwhile, in the 2006 documentary, “Deliver us from Evil,” which uncovered the very same crimes in the Catholic Church – that got an Oscar nomination. But ‘Open Secrets’ you can’t find. This is yet another damning example of Hollywood’s hypocrisy. Anything going on in their own backyard, no matter how depraved, must be tolerated and covered up for image and profit. And this town still preaches about morality and social justice to everybody? Give me a f__ing break.”
Pedophilia is, at least for now, a subject obscured by the shadow of the #MeToo movement.
“Leaving Neverland” is currently playing on HBO and HBO Go.
Top Image: Robson family poses with Michael Jackson. HBO screen capture.