Two men who accused Michael Jackson of child molestation will speak with Oprah Winfrey in the new HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
CNN reports Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland will find the veteran interviewer sitting down with Wade Robson and James Safechuck to discuss the film and their relationship to the now deceased King of Pop. They will be joined by director Dan Reed “before an audience of survivors of sexual abuse and others whose lives have been impacted by it,” according to HBO and Winfrey’s OWN network, who are partnering on the special.
The Jackson estate filed a lawsuit last week against HBO claiming the doc is based on false accusations and its accusers have been financially motivated to lie. More important, HBO reportedly entered into a non-disparagement agreement with Jackson in 1992 when it aired his Michael Jackson in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour concert. The agreement restricts individuals from taking any action that negatively impacts an organization, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
“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,” said Howard Weitzman, the Jackson estate attorney. “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.”
The special debuts simultaneously on HBO and OWN at 10 p.m. EST on March 4. Check out Winfrey’s 1993 interview with Jackson below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.