Janet Jackson says her brother Michael's legacy 'will continue' despite child sex abuse claims

Adam White

Janet Jackson has spoken publicly about her late brother Michael for the first time since sexual abuse allegations were made against him earlier this year, claiming that they will not harm his legacy.

Speaking to The The Sunday Times in advance of her set at this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival, Jackson said that Michael’s legacy “will continue”, and that the allegations have not derailed his influence on music and pop culture at large.

“I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music,” she said. “It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world. I hope I’m not sounding arrogant in any way – I’m just stating what it is. It’s really all God's doing, and I’m just thankful for that.”

Jackson did not, however, specifically address the allegations made earlier this year in the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland, which saw former actor James Safechuck and dancer Wade Robson both accuse Jackson of sexual abuse and rape when they were children. But her statement did indicate that she is not worried about their effect on her brother’s reputation.

Jackson has largely stayed silent on the accusations levelled at her brother, but did not deny rumours earlier this year that she had refused to perform at March’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, for which she was inducted, in protest over the event’s TV broadcasters HBO. HBO had previously broadcast Leaving Neverland.