HBO has released the first trailer for the controversial Michael Jackson documentary, “Leaving Neverland.”
The two-part documentary, which drew a slew of media attention after it premiered at Sundance, tells the story of Jackson’s most outspoken sexual abuse accusers, James Safechuck and Wade Robson.
At one point in the trailer, Robson says of Jackson, “He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.”
The Jackson estate has trashed HBO for their decision to air the film, calling it a “one-sided, sensationalist program.”
In a letter to Richard Plepler, the CEO of HBO, Jackson attorney Howard Weitman said, “Had HBO actually complied with the most basic of journalistic ethics—rather than just accept their salacious allegations at face value—it would have discovered so much more long before it ever got involved in this disgraceful project.”
After the film premiered at Sundance, the family released a statement saying, “Michael Jackson is our brother and son. We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity.”
They added, “People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique. But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT … There has never been one piece of proof of anything.”