Michael Jackson’s Family Slams Claims Made in 'Leaving Neverland,' But Have Not Seen the Doc

By
The Jackson Family
CBS

Michael Jackson's family is speaking out against Leaving Neverland.

During Wednesday's episode of CBS This Morning, Gayle King sat down with Michael's brothers, Tito, Marlon and Jackie, as well as Michael's nephew, Taj. The four men spoke out against the resurgence of sexual abuse allegations against their late brother in light of the upcoming release of Leaving Neverland -- an explosive documentary that features interviews with two alleged victims, James Safechuck and Wade Robson -- that recently debuted at Sundance and is set to air on HBO in March. The Michael Jackson Estate is suing HBO over the film.

The Jackson family fought back against the documentary, saying that the alleged victims had previously defended Jackson -- James gave a sworn statement in 1993 defending the singer, while Wade testified in a civil suit and in Michael's 2005 trial -- and that the person that James and Wade described is not the man that his family knew.

"We know our brother. Michael wouldn't do anything like that," Marlon said. "And then he waits until after the passing of Michael, 10 years later, just to come out and state this? They're still in court with the estate suing them for hundreds of millions of dollars."

"... If Neverland was so horrifying for him, why would you keep going back?" Marlon questioned of Michael's famed Santa Barbara home. "Nobody was there, but the facts are public record. I mean, what he testified under oath are all the different things that he’s said. Those are the facts."

Jackie echoed Marlon's sentiments, telling Gayle, "Michael's not here to defend himself, [but] I know my brother. He's my little brother. I know my brother. He's not like that."

While Taj admitted that Michael's sharing beds and having slumber parties with young children "can be odd," he was adamant about his uncle's innocence.

"I grew up in it, so for me it wasn't odd. You know, I think, to the outside world, yes, I think it can be odd. I mean, I'm not oblivious to what it sounds like," Taj said. "But when you're actually there in that atmosphere and you're around it, and you're watching movies, whether, with his kids, whether it's Little Rascals or Three Stooges, and you're watching these things, it's like, it's very innocent."

"I think, the fault on my uncle was he just, he didn't have that bone in his body to look at it the other way," Taj added. "And I think that was the thing, is that his naiveté was his downfall in a way."

Gayle went on to question the Jacksons about why Wade and James would choose to come forward now and say that they previously lied under oath in an effort not to be "the one that harmed Michael Jackson."

"It's all about money," Marlon said.

"It's always been about money," Taj agreed. "I hate to say it when it's my uncle, it's almost like they see a blank check. Because they've been taken care of their whole life and I think that's the problem. These people... felt that they're owed something. You know, instead of working for something, they blame everything on my uncle."

Marlon also spoke out against Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed for allegedly taking what James and Wade "were saying at face value as to be true."

"He trusted them -- which there's nothing wrong with that -- but you must verify," Marlon said. "Because when you start throwing allegations out about someone, then you gotta go back and go, 'Wait a minute. Let me make sure I'm telling the right thing. Make sure they're not selling me a bunch of goods, which they were." 

While the Jackson brothers have been vocal against the documentary, his sisters, notably Janet Jackson, have been relatively quiet when it comes to the film.

"Everyone feels the same way about this," Marlon assured.

"I think there is a fear as well to put more energy to it and more eyeballs to it, I think that’s why my aunt Janet hasn’t said anything because she doesn’t want to make it any bigger," Taj reasoned.

The Jacksons refuse to see the documentary, arguing that they don't need to view it to defend their brother.

"I don't care to see it because I know my brother," Jackie said. "I don't have to see that documentary. I know Michael. I'm the oldest brother. I know my brother. I know what he stood for. What he was all about. Bringing the world together. Making kids happy. That's the kind of person he was."

"I want [viewers] to understand and know that this documentary is not telling the truth," Marlon added. "There has not been not one piece of evidence that corroborates their story and they're not interested in doing that." 

The interview concluded with all four Jacksons vehemently denying the allegations against Michael, saying he was "never" abusive toward or inappropriate with children.

"The people that really know him, they know the truth, too," Jackie said.

Wade and James will appear on CBS This Morning on Thursday. Additionally, Oprah Winfrey announced on Wednesday that she'll be sitting down with both alleged victims and the film's director immediately following the airing of part two of Leaving Neverland. The documentary is set to air on HBO in two parts on March 3 and 4, while Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland will air on HBO and OWN immediately following part two of the film.

Watch the video below for more on Leaving Neverland:

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