Leaving Neverland trailer reveals HBO's unsettling Michael Jackson documentary
Leaving Neverland, the documentary everyone’s been talking about, finally has a trailer.
“I want to be able to speak the truth as loud as I had to speak the lie for so long,” says Wade Robson, who, along with James Safechuck, details allegations of sexual child abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson.
The two-part documentary, directed and produced by Dan Reed (This World, The Paedophile Hunter), screened for audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The event sparked ire from some Jackson fans and the Jackson estate, the latter calling the film “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.”
This trailer is the first officially released footage of Leaving Neverland made available to the mainstream public.
In 2013, years after Jackson’s death in 2009, Robson testified that the singer sexually abused him as a child. A judge dismissed the lawsuit against the Jackson estate in 2017. He stated the estate wasn’t liable for Robson’s exposure to Jackson, but didn’t rule on Robson’s allegations.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Safechuck filed an amended complaint in 2016 that Jackson’s companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures enabled the abuse of underage boys. Safechuck claimed Jackson engaged in sexual acts with him as a boy “hundreds” of times. A judge, too, dismissed the case in 2017.
For Leaving Neverland, Reed interviewed Robson, now 41, and Safechuck, now 37, about their experiences with Jackson at the ages of 7 and 10, respectively, and visiting his Neverland Ranch in California. Additional interviews were conducted with the men’s mothers, spouses, and siblings.
Per HBO, the film “crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own.”
Part 1 of Leaving Neverland will premiere on HBO this March 3, followed by Part 2 on March 4.