Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed has hit back after claims that he admitted one fact from the controversial documentary was wrong.
- The new revelations have caused many of the celebrities who helped make the documentary viral delete all of their old posts about the case, including Oprah.
- Radio stations all over the world are making the decision to ban Michael Jackson’s music in response to the Leaving Neverland documentary.
This week, doubt has been cast on the allegations of abuse that were made against Michael Jackson in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, after Jackson’s biographer found discrepancies in the official timeline.
Recent reports suggested that one of Michael Jackson’s accusers, James Safechuck, couldn’t have been molested in a room at the Neverland train station at some point between 1988 and 1992, as the station wasn’t actually built until 1994.
Jackson biographer Mike Smallcombe shared construction permits, which showed approval for the building works in September 1993.
The picture below was taken on August 25, 1993. The train station wasn’t there (top of image). Work on the floral clock had started.
The construction of the actual building was approved by Santa Barbara County on September 2, 1993 (see below).
End of discussion. pic.twitter.com/ycOTKw0Vj5
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) April 2, 2019
Director Reed then replied to the detail via Twitter and said: “Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse.”
Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 31, 2019
“By acknowledging the build date, Reed is essentially confirming that Safechuck’s claim of being abused in Neverland’s train station between 1988 and 1992 is impossible. To seemingly now claim on Safechuck’s behalf that the abuse went on as Safechuck approached adulthood, all to preserve the timeline of his film, is astonishing,” he added.
Dan then hit back at numerous reports that claimed he was now backtracking in light of the details.
He clarified in subsequent tweets that Safechuck was still at Neverland Ranch beyond 1994 and took pictures of the station which appeared in the documentary, and that the victim claimed he was abused into his teens.
Nope. No u-turn. No clash of dates. James was present at Neverland before and after the train station was built. In fact he took photos of the completed station which we included in the doc. And his sexual contact with Michael lasted into his teens. That’s all in the film.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) April 2, 2019
Admitted what?? Safechuck was at Neverland after the train station was completed. He even took photos of the station, we put two of these in the film. And he’s clear in the documentary that the sexual contact with Jackson continued into his teens…
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) April 2, 2019
Last month, Reed spoke out to defend his documentary’s claims, as he took down suggestions that Jackson’s accusers Safechuck and Wade Robson were lying.
The Jackson estate has strongly denied the accusations in the Leaving Neverland documentary, and responded by filing a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. Oddly enough, the estate is not suing for slander or defamation or anything of that nature, but breach of contract. As part of a 1992 contract to air a Jackson concert, HBO promised that the network would never produce anything disparaging about him.
“It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause,” the lawsuit reads.
HBO has not responded to the lawsuit, but in a statement earlier this week, the network issued a statement saying that they will be going forward with airing the film as planned.
“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged, HBO will move forward with the airing of ‘Leaving Neverland. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves,” the statement read.
It was also alleged that Macaulay Culkin was a victim of Jackson’s because they spent so much time together, but Culkin has come forward since the controversy to deny these allegations and say that he had no knowledge of any predatory behavior going on behind the scenes at the Neverland ranch.
“HBO and the director were well aware of their financial motives and that ample opposing facts are available from numerous sources, but made the unconscionable decision to bury any evidence casting doubt on their chosen narrative. Had they made an objective film it would have allowed viewers to make up their own minds about these allegations, instead of having a television network dictate to them that they must accept these false claims about Michael Jackson,” said Howard Weitzman, the estate’s attorney.