Leaving Neverland, the controversial two-part documentary exploring sexual molestation allegations against Michael Jackson, has divided celebrities in their verdict and support.
While some have called the documentary ‘haunting’ and appear to take the sides of the alleged victims, many have come out to vow their support for the late music superstar.
Corey Feldman, who was a friend of Jackson as a child, adamantly defended him on Twitter on 4 March. The 47-year-old former child actor went on an epic cap-locked rant about his past relationship with Jackson.
He claims he was never touched inappropriately by the late star, and that the pair had an innocent friendship.
NEVER ONCE SWORE IN MY PRESENCE, NEVER TOUCHED ME INAPPROPRIATELY, & NEVER EVER SUGGESTED WE SHOULD BE LOVERS IN ANY WAY! I FEEL LIKE IF PPL COULD HEAR OUR CONVOS THEY WOULD HEAR THE INNOCENCE IN THEM. NO HINT OF PERVERSION. I HAV A TAPE, IM THINKIN ABOUT RELEASING, WHICH COULD
— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) March 4, 2019
However, Feldman has since stated that he can no longer defend his former friend. He says, although Jackson never behaved inappropriately in front him, the victims should not be ignored.
“It becomes impossible for me to remain virtuous and not at least consider what’s being said and not listen to what the victims are saying,” Feldman told HLN.
“We must allow them to speak and therefore, we must consider all sides of this, even as uncomfortable as that might be.”
James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36, describe in the documentary how Jackson allegedly groomed and molested them from the age of seven and up to their early teens.
And it seems that a fair few celebrities have found their stories credible and have voiced their support on Twitter.
Documentary maker Louis Theroux is one of many who have chosen to believe their stories. He said on Twitter that if you can’t see the truth behind their stories, “you are being wilfully blind” and “actively colluding in the silencing of victims”.
If you can’t see that Michael Jackson was a paedophile after watching @danreed1000 ‘s film you are being wilfully blind. And if you are campaigning against it you are actively colluding in the silencing of victims.
— Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) March 7, 2019
Filmmaker Judd Apatow, (The 40-year-old Virgin, Knocked Up) said it would take time for him to ‘recover’ after watching the documentary at Sundance Film Festival, and also denounced Corey Feldman’s initial defence of Jackson.
The Corey Feldman defense that MJ must not have done it because he didn’t do it to me doesn’t quite work. That’s like saying Ted Bundy wasn’t a murderer because I met him at a bar and he didn’t murder me. https://t.co/S2L2waCAIL
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 5, 2019
It takes days to recover from watching this documentary. It’s so sad. You grieve for these two men and everyone who has suffered similar experiences. https://t.co/rHXeadInNU
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 1, 2019
Rosie O’Donnell, actress and former The View host, described the documentary as ‘haunting’ and questioned why the parents involved allowed their young sons to spend the night with Jackson alone.
who would leave a seven – yes 7 – year old boy with a grown man – makes no sense to me as a mom –
— ROSIE (@Rosie) March 4, 2019
Rose McGowan, called the alleged victims ‘brave’ while watching Oprah Winfrey’s follow up show, After Neverland, in which Winfrey interviewed Safechuck and Robson and the series director Dan Reed.
The survivors are brave. .@Oprah is brave. The documentarians are brave. This is what brave is folks, standing against the grain, going against the norm, rocking the boat because sometimes it needs to be rocked. It is hard to hear truth, but that’s what growing pains are. #Brave https://t.co/luV8wiImAp
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) March 3, 2019
Chat show host Ellen Degeneres also encouraged her followers to watch Winfrey’s special.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 5, 2019
However fellow US daytime host Wendy Williams, has come out in support of both Michael and the Jackson family, and says that she believes Safechuck and Robson are simply after a ‘money grab.’
Speaking on her chat show, The Wendy Williams Show, on Monday, she told her audience that while she is aware that sleepovers took place with young children, she doesn’t believe any ‘sexual touching’ was involved.
“I don’t believe a word of anything in this documentary. Michael is no innocent, but that’s not him,” Williams added.
Actress Michaela Coel has denounced Michael Jackson in the wake of the documentary airing on C4. The creator of Chewing Gum and star of Netflix musical Been So Long, admits to being a fan of the singer, but says she’s “moving on”.
If you do not believe Michael Jackson abused those boys go ahead & watch the 2nd half of the doc #LeavingNeverland.
If MJ is innocent do not @ me with Your desperate delusion & disappointment in how I use my platform, MJ fans like myself are seeing straight & moving on. ❤️
— Michaela Coel (@MichaelaCoel) March 8, 2019
Jackson’s surviving family and his official estate have denied all of the allegations covered in Leaving Neverland. The estate is currently suing HBO for $100 million (£76 million).
Leaving Neverland will air on Channel 4 on Wednesday March 6 and Thursday March 7 at 9pm.