If you thought we were done exposing folks in 2019 … think again.
A documentary about two boys who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse will not only premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan 25 but will also air on HBO this spring.
The Sundance Institute announced the addition of “Leaving Neverland” to its festival lineup on Wednesday. A description on the festival’s website says “Leaving Neverland” will tell the story of two men — Wade Robson and James Safechuck — who are now in their 30s and began long-running relationships with Jackson at ages 7 and 10 when Jackson was at the height of his fame.
The film is being produced and directed by BAFTA-winning director Dan Reed.
HBO announced on Thursday that it — along with the U.K.’s Channel 4 — plans to air the nearly four-hour-long documentary this spring following its Sundance debut.
Jackson’s estate however has bashed the doc calling it “lurid production” in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the statement reads. “Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception,’ filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed.”
Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005 trial. He died in June 2009.
Meanwhile one of his collaborators R. Kelly is experiencing the repercussions of a scathing documentary about his accusers. Since the airing of Lifetime’s six-part “Surviving R. Kelly” the R&B star has faced intense scrutiny from celebrities and entertainers as well as public outrage about what appears to be years of predatory behavior.
In 2008 Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of child pornography. Now, fresh investigations have been launched in Chicago and Atlanta into allegations of sexual and physical abuse. Kelly who wrote Michael Jacksons hit single “You Are Not Alone” has adamantly denied all allegations.