Michael Jackson’s family has condemned the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which alleges the famous singer molested young boys, calling it a “public lynching,” according to Variety.

In the publication’s review of the movie, “Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both in their late 30s, [describe], with disarming eloquence and self-possession, how Jackson befriended them when they were children and then, for years (starting when they were 7 and 11 years old, respectively), sexually abused them. The film suggests that they were far from the only victims.”

Jackson’s estate called the movie, which premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, a “tabloid character assassination.”

“We can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him,” the family’s statement reads. “Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.”

According to the family, Wade and Safechuck claimed Jackson did not molest them during his 2005 child molestation trial, in which he was acquitted.