Members of the Jackson family are fighting back against the accusations of sexual abuse made against Michael Jackson in the upcoming HBO docuseries Leaving Neverland. They say that the singer’s “sleepovers” with children reflected a lack of emotional maturity and not perverse intentions.
“I grew up in it, so for me it wasn’t odd,” Taj Jackson, Michael’s nephew told Gayle King during an interview on CBS This Morning that aired Wednesday.
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“I think, to the outside world, yes, I think it can be odd. I mean, I’m not oblivious to what it sounds like. But when you’re actually there in that atmosphere and you’re around it, and you’re watching movies with his kids, whether it’s Little Rascals or Three Stooges, and you’re watching these things, it’s like, it’s very innocent,” he continued.
Taj added, “But 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. And I think that was the thing, is that his naiveté was his downfall in a way.”
Did it not seem odd to you though that [Michael Jackson] would share a bed or have slumber parties with young children?
Premiering on Sunday, the four-part docuseries features on-camera allegations from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who each sworn under oath in previous circumstances that Jackson did not sexually abuse them. Michael’s estate filed suit against HBO and Time Warner over their distribution of the film on February 21, alleging it contravened a non-disparagement clause dating back from a previous contract.
What do you want to say about your brother as #LeavingNeverland is about to hit the country?
"I want them to understand and know that this documentary is not telling the truth. There has not been not one piece of evidence that corroborates their story." -- Marlon Jackson pic.twitter.com/O73o19flry
During the interview with King, the Jackson family stated that they had not seen the film and had no intention of seeing the film. King asked them how they could refute the claims made in Leaving Neverlandwithout ever seeing it. “Don’t you need to see it?” she asked them.
“No I don’t,” Jackie Jackson, Michael’s older brother, answered. “I know my brother, he’s my little brother. I know my brother. He’s not like that,” he continued.
Marlon Jackson stated that he didn’t think viewing the film was necessary because, “I trust my attorney.”
The family claimed that the molestation allegations had resurfaced because the accusers were searching for cash.
“It’s all about the money,” Marlon told King.
Taj agreed, saying: “It’s always been about money. I hate to say it when it’s my uncle, it’s almost like they see a blank check. These people…felt that they’re owed something. You know, instead of working for something, they blame everything on my uncle.”
“The people that really know him, they know the truth, too,” stated Jackie.
The Jackson family aren’t the only ones being given an opportunity to share their stories with the public. Robson and Safechuck will be appearing on CBS This Morning on Thursday.