Michael Jackson's ex Tatum O'Neal: It's 'hard not to believe' sex abuse allegations

Chris Edwards
Contributor
Michael Jackson with actress Tatum O''Neal (Credit: John Barr/Liaison/Getty Images)

Michael Jacksons ex-girlfriend Tatum O'Neal has said it’s “hard not to believe” the allegations of child sex abuse made against the late pop singer.

The actress and childhood sweetheart of Jackson explained that she was struggling to discount the accusations made by James Safechuck and Wade Robson in the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland.

"I don’t know. It’s hard not to believe, right, those boys,” she told Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid via a live video feed. “I didn't see anything myself.”

She added that she wasn’t shocked by the allegations, as there are “so many disgusting things going on in Hollywood”.

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Tatum O'Neal on Good Morning Britain (ITV)

"No, it doesn't sicken me. There are so many disgusting things in Hollywood now beginning to be uncovered slowly,” she said.

O’Neal began her friendship with Jackson when she was 12 and he was 17. In her 2004 autobiography A Paper Life, she revealed that she “wasn’t ready” for a “real-life” encounter with the singer.

She wrote: “I was just 12 and not at all ready for a real-life encounter. Michael, who was sweating profusely, seemed as intimidated as I was. He jumped up nervously and said, ‘Uh… gotta go.’"

Read more: Madonna breaks silence over Michael Jackson abuse allegations

In 1995, the actress described Jackson as “shy” and “one of the nicest, most innocent people I’ve ever met.” She also said she had “a really wonderful friendship” with the pop star and that they’d frequently speak on the phone.

During her appearance on Good Morning Britain, O’Neal also spoke of her disappointment over Meghan Markle’s attendance at Wimbledon, in which a number of fans were asked not to take pictures of the Duchess of Sussex.

“It’s so upsetting to me, because if you think of Princess Diana and you think of how absolutely inclusive she was and she would never turn anyone away,” she said. “I had so much hope for Meghan. I wanted her to be the next Princess Diana and it seems like it’s all about her and it’s really upsetting me. I’m sorry Harry, because I love Harry.

“You are now a royal, you are not an actor to have a bodyguard muscle somebody out I just think it’s so tacky, you know?”

She added that Markle shouldn’t expect much privacy as a royal, saying: “I heard Piers say when you are out in public you are sort of up for grabs and in a way that’s true.”

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