‘Leaving Neverland’ director hits back: ‘Add up the nights MJ slept with other people’s sons’
Wednesday - 03/04/2019 21:36
The director of Leaving Neverland has furiously returned fire after Michael Jackson fans poked holes in sexual abuse allegations.
Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed has defended his documentary after Michael Jackson fans poured fresh scrutiny on the allegations made by one of the late singer’s accusers.
Reed has countered that those looking to poke holes in his film should instead focus on “adding up the total number of nights (Jackson) slept with other people’s sons: Was it hundreds or thousands?”
The documentary made shockwaves when it debuted on screens last month, outlining in exhaustive detail the years of sexual abuse that accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck claim they suffered at Jackson’s hands when they were children.
In the documentary, accuser James Safechuck claims he was abused from 1988 until 1992, with much of the abuse taking place across Jackson’s sprawling and labyrinthine Neverland ranch. One site of abuse, according to Safechuck: A room within Neverland’s own train station.
However, this week Jackson biographer Mike Smallcombe revealed the structure at the singer’s ranch was not built until 1994.
He tweeted out Santa Barbara County construction permits showing approval for the building of the station happened in September 1993.
To those insisting Jackson’s innocence, the answer was clear: Safechuck claimed he’d been abused in a room that hadn’t even existed when the alleged abuse took place. Therefore, Safechuck must be lying about ever having been abused in the first place.
However, Reed is standing firm behind the subjects of his film.
“Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse,” Reed initially tweeted after the date discrepancy was pointed out.
Soon, Jackson supporters and media outlets were taking Reed’s tweet as evidence of a “U-turn”, of the documentary maker abandoning his subjects.
“Nope. No U-turn. No clash of dates. James was present at Neverland before and after the train station was built. In fact he took photos of the completed station which we included in the doc. And his sexual contact with Michael lasted into his teens. That’s all in the film,” he wrote.
As Jackson supporters (or “stans”, online slang for overzealous fans) flooded his mentions, Reed suggested they’d be better off focusing their energies elsewhere.
“Progress — the stans seem to have conceded that Safechuck was molested and are now debating which rooms at Neverland the sex took place in + James’ age when it stopped. How about adding up total number of nights MJ slept with other people’s sons: was it hundreds or thousands?”
Veteran journalist Maureen Orth, who covered Jackson’s life since the first child sex abuse allegations surfaced against him in 1993, last month penned a helpful article for Vanity Fair that cuts through much of the conjecture surrounding Jackson’s close relationships with little boys.