Michael Jackson Documentary: Director Responds To Family's Claims Over "Leaving Neverland"

4 March 2019, 08:28 | Updated: 4 March 2019, 08:33

The director of the controversial Michael Jackson documentary which accuses the singer of sexual abuse against two children has explained why one of the victims initially denied being abused.

Leaving Neverland focuses on testimony from Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, about their experiences with the singers when they were children.

Jackson's brothers said in a statement: "This has already been heard in a court of law. These two people are not telling the truth. There are no credible witnesses. There is no evidence. The film is a hurtful falsehood."

Dan Reed, the director of Leaving Neverland
Dan Reed, the director of Leaving Neverland. Picture: PA / LBC

But Dan Reed, who directed the film, responded: "The question of Wade's testimony and why he changed his story is addressed in the film. That's really what the whole thing is about.

"When he stood up in court to defend Michael Jackson in May 2005, he was defending a man who he loved, who had been his sexual partner, who he had tremendous loyalty to.

"He was his mentor, he wasn't going to see Michael go to jail and that's why he defended him. He lied in court, he admits to this.

"The story of why he lied in court and why he changed his mind is the central story of the film."

Dan Reed with the two victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck
Dan Reed with the two victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Picture: PA

Reed describes Jackson's actions as straight out of the "paedophile playbook". The film claims that, after originally grooming the mothers, Jackson then turned their children against them.

Reed added: "It's classic paedophile modus operandi. Groom the parents first, then groom the children. Then pry the mums away from the children, while pretending to be their best friend.

"It's the paedophile playbook."

Leaving Neverland is on Channel 4 on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th March at 9pm.