‘None of them had any doubts at all about his guilt’: Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed
Leaving Neverland’s director has claimed police that investigated Michael Jackson over child sex abuse claims were convinced of the singer’s guilt.
The late singer, who died of an overdose in 2009, is facing renewed allegations he molested children after the documentary aired graphic claims by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
Robson and Safechuck’s claims have angered both Jackson’s fans and family, who have launched legal action and accused Leaving Neverland of being one-sided.
Jackson was dogged by child sex abuse claims for decades but was acquitted of molestation charges during a 2005 criminal trial dealing with accusations by a 13-year-old accuser.
Speaking to The Morning Show on Friday, director Dan Reed said Safechuck and Robson’s allegations were fact-checked in a process that only backed up their claims.
Pointing out that “facts don’t lie, but paedofiles do,” Reed said he went in “with an open mind” and became convinced of Jackson’s guilt.
“I didn’t approach this in a naive way. I listened very carefully to days and days and days of interview, then we went and did about 18 months of research and checked everything we could and tried to poke holes in Wade and James’ accounts,” Reed said.
“We didn’t find anything that cast any doubt on their accounts — on the contrary, we found a lot of corroborating evidence.
“I interviewed the police investigators and the sheriff’s department investigators who were part of looking into Michael Jackson’s background, and none of them had any doubts at all about his guilt.”
Combing through hours of accounts of what Jackson allegedly did to them, Reed said the most upsetting account came from Robson.
“The moment that I found most shocking was when Wade began to describe how as a seven-year-old he began to fall in love with Michael Jackson,” Reed said.
“As a parent you think wait a minute, that can’t be right, surely sexual abuse is something that the child experiences as unpleasant, as painful, as difficult.
“But in fact what I began to realise was that the seduction that Michael Jackson inflicted on these children was kind of part and parcel of all the affection and tenderness and attention that he was giving them … In fact what you realise is that a proper grooming paedophile, which is what Jackson was, will just sort of gently ingratiate his way both into the family, but also into the child’s affections.”
Leaving Neverland’s claims have taken a toll on Jackson’s children, with the singer’s youngest Blanket, 17, “not talking” and multiple US reports that Paris, 20, had attempted suicide — claims which were denied by the aspiring actress.
Reed said while he was “of course worried” about the impact Leaving Neverland would have on Jackson’s children, Robson and Safechuck’s account was a story that needed to be told.
“The politics of the Jackson clan is very complicated and this supposed attempted suicide of Paris, which she has immediately denied, that’s very puzzling. I don’t know what’s going on there,” Reed said.
“Jackson’s children had nothing to do with the sexual abuse and of course they’re upset that their dad is being accused of all this stuff. But these allegations have been around for decades now and they won’t come as any surprise to the kids.
“I feel for them, I wish them the very best, but the truth must come out because I think this is an important story.”