Part one of “Leaving Neverland” – the documentary that details the sexual abuse two men allegedly suffered at the hands of Michael Jackson – aired last night on HBO. Here’s what you need to know:
The lure of MJ’s fame was irresistible – Wade Robson and James Safechuck both had dreams of being in the entertainment industry. Wade met Jackson after winning a dance contest. His mother, Joy, moved him, his sister, and herself from their native Australia on the promise that the King of Pop would make him a dancing star. James was in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson. When he turned 10, he joined MJ on tour. His mom, Stephanie, said she met celebrities like Sean Connery, flew first class, and was chauffeured in limos. James would sleep in the room with Jackson, but his mother’s room would get farther and farther away from theirs.
Michael built trust with the families – While he’d spend hours on the phone with the boys, he also made it a point to talk to their mothers. “He was a son I started to take care for,” Stephanie said. “He would spend the night. I’d wash his clothes.” She said she told him that she’d prayed for her son to get into commercials. He told her that he’d prayed for a friend and found James.
Neverland Ranch is featured throughout the documentary – Neverland was where Jackson lived. The compound included an arcade, an amusement park, an assortment of exotic animals, and a train station. It was a great playground for kids and the perfect place to keep parents away from their kids. The families were offered rooms in a guesthouse that was separate from the main house where Jackson stayed with his young charges. James outlined all the places at the ranch where he and Michael got busy:
- On a blanket in the closet, where several doors and a system of bells would alert them if someone was coming.
- In a private screening room at the back of the movie theater.
- In a house filled with Jackson’s memorabilia, such as a rhinestone jacket he wore to the Grammys.
- In an attic.
- In a castle in the theme park.
- In an upstairs room in the train station.
Some of the stuff the guys say is downright disturbing – At one point, James pulls out a diamond infested gold ring he claimed that Jackson bought for him for their mock wedding ceremony. Both James and Wade talk about the particulars of their encounters with him, and they’re similar. Jackson got to James when he was 10, while Wade was only 7. Jackson abused both boys for several years.
Part Two of “Leaving Neverland” airs tonight on HBO at 8pm ET - check your local listings.
Source: Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep