A FRIEND who has seen the forthcoming, four-hour documentary on Michael Jackson says he struggled to sleep after hearing the damning and depraved detail given by the star’s alleged victims.
And film critic Owen Gleiberman referred to their testimony as “overwhelmingly powerful and convincing”.
Getty – Contributor Two of Michael Jackson’s alleged victims — James Safechuck, now 40, and Wade Robson, now 36 — say he groomed and raped them
Michael Jackson, pictured with Wade Robson, now 36, has been accused of abuse in ‘powerful testimony’, writes Jane Moore
Michael Jackson giggles and smiles as he’s quizzed by cops over child sex abuse allegations in unearthed video
The rest of us can see the two-parter on Channel 4 on March 6 and 7 and judge for ourselves if we so wish.
But in the meantime, anyone daring to even suggest that Jacko was anything but a paragon of childish virtue is being vilified on social media by a particularly militant faction of his fans (aka fanatics).
The problem here, of course, is that Michael Jackson is dead.
Therefore, the allegations will never be tested in a court of law, only in the kangaroo court of social media.
But that doesn’t mean those claiming so convincingly to have been abused by him shouldn’t be given a platform in the same way as those resolutely peddling the god-like image that sustains his multi-million pound estate long after his death.
These are claims from people whose prolonged, close acquaintance to Jackson is undisputed, as was his habit of inviting children for sleepovers at his Neverland ranch.
‘FAME CAN BE CORROSIVE’
Two of his alleged victims — James Safechuck, now 40, and Wade Robson, now 36 — say he groomed and raped them, and Michael’s family counter that no, he didn’t, they’re just after money.
These conflicting narratives will never change, so what are we left with?
Well, that fame and fortune can be deeply corrosive, not only to the celebrity themselves but to those who worship, surround or depend on them.
Even the most ardent of Michael Jackson’s “stans” — an amalgam of stalker and fan — must surely admit that, if he was an ordinary adult man with a fondness for having young boys in his bed for sleepovers, they wouldn’t be quite so benevolent in their outlook.
New trailer for Leaving Neverland sees Michael Jackson’s alleged victim revealing jewellery ‘given to him by the late singer’
Nor would the boys’ parents, who were clearly so blinded by the glow of his superstardom that they failed to engage with a gut instinct that, at the very least, might have prompted them to question what he was up to with their children behind closed doors.
Celebrities can certainly attract false allegations from those out to make a fast buck, but equally, being famous doesn’t mean you’re incapable of being an abuser either.
If anything, as the Jimmy Savile case proves, fame can sometimes obscure infamy.
“But he does so much good work for children”… “He raises millions for charity”… yada yada.
The same is said of Michael Jackson, too, in an attempt to mitigate even the merest suggestion of any wrongdoing.
But, given past allegations, the pay-offs, the court case (from which he was acquitted) and these latest reportedly convincing claims, can so many red flags be wilfully ignored?
Better to put it all out there — rebuttals and all — and let us judge for ourselves.
2005 Getty Images Anyone daring to even suggest that Jacko was anything but a paragon of childish virtue is being vilified on social media by a particularly militant faction of his fans, writes Jane Moore
refer to caption. Leaving Neverland features powerful testimony and will be screened on Channel 4
Michael Jackson ‘was running most sophisticated child sex operation the world has known’ – and was ‘abusing kids until the day he died’
Dakota is just swell
Splash News Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson, who wows in a figure-hugging outfit, says her ‘menstrual cycle is ruining her life’
Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson says her menstrual cycle is ruining her life.
“My boobs are like eight times the size they normally are… it’s really a traumatic thing,” she says.
I’m sure her boyfriend Chris Martin copes admirably with the monthly dilemma.
The Mega Agency Dakota Johnson complains that her breasts are ‘eight times their normal size’, writes Jane Moore
Suspiria starring Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton and an unrecognisable star playing Lutz Ebersdorf disguised by prosthetics – can you guess who it is?
Having white wine with steak is just fine says expert Tim Hanni, who reckons traditional pairings are pseudo-science. Fair enough. The main issue is that, these days, all too many fail to pair their vino with any food at all.
Olivia’s Oscar act a bit off
Splash News By all accounts Olivia Colman is refreshingly normal and a joy to work with, writes Jane Moore
Olivia Colman is undoubtedly a superb actress and worthy Oscar winner.
But, oh dear, I do wish she’d drop the “little old me” routine.
“Any little girl who is practising their speech on the telly – you never know. I used to work as a cleaner and I loved that job, I did spend quite a lot of my time imagining this,” she gabbled excitedly while clutching the Best Actress gong.
All of which may be correct, but is it a true reflection of her path to stardom?
After all, the daughter of a chartered surveyor, she grew up in a middle-class household, attended private school and, after getting involved with Cambridge Footlights for a year, ended up training to be an actress at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic.
Hilarious moment Olivia Colman swears at Oscars staff as they try to cut short her Best Actress winner’s speech
Hardly rags to riches.
Besides, she’s a prodigious talent, has more than 35 top awards to her name, and has got where she is by skill and slog – just like all the other nominees at the ceremony.
She earned, and wholly deserved, that win.
So, yes, by all accounts she’s refreshingly normal and a joy to work with. But let’s not over-egg the humble pie.Oops Upside Your Head
Corbis – Getty Breakdancing could be included as a sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics
Moore Towers is at fever pitch with the news that breakdancing could be included as a sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Bloke has been known to breakdance after a few sherbets, with the “beetle on its back” manoeuvre a particular favourite.
And me? Well, if they extend it to other forms of dance, my Oops Upside Your Head routine is life affirming, even if I do have to be helped up afterwards.
Not PC enough to be PC
PA:Press Association Matthew Furlong was turned down by the police because he’s a white, heterosexual male, writes Jane Moore
Matthew Furlong is a healthy, fit 25-year-old with a dream to join the police.
But despite doing well in tests and at interview, he was turned down because he’s a white, heterosexual male.
That’s the conclusion of his discrimination claim against Cheshire Police where, according to the judge’s ruling, candidates with “protected characteristics” – such as being gay, transgender, disabled or from an ethnic minority – were treated more favourably than Matthew.
Wanting to attract more diverse candidates to a job in policing is understandable, but “positive discrimination” is still discrimination whichever way you look at it.
Besides, if I’m in need of police help, I don’t give a flying fig whether they’re gay, straight, black or blue with pink spots – as long as they can do the job effectively.
CommentTHE SUN SAYS Corbyn backing a second referendum is a sickening reversal of his manifesto CommentKARREN BRADY When kids are at risk from neglectful parents, thank God for foster carers CommentTHE SUN SAYS The Brexit vote has been delayed again but this time it isn’t the PM’s fault CommentTREVOR KAVANAGH Trapped Prime Minister can still blow foes out of water with Brexit deal CommentSUE PALMER Stop self-harm crisis and teach mental health to kids in school classrooms CommentALLY ROSS Penny Lancaster is the only arresting sight on criminal Famous And Fighting Crime
Time for integrityIn the excellent More4 documentary series The Clinton Affair, primarily about the President’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky, former Washington Post journalist Michael Isikoff says that people struggled with the dilemma of “where are your principles versus your party political interest?”
He adds: “How do you draw the line between what you stand for and what you think is best for your side of the ideological divide?”
A similar conundrum must surely be on rotation in the minds of die-hard Labourites who have seen their once-great party reduced to a laughing stock by the politically disastrous Jeremy Corbyn.
Eagle-eyed viewers spotted this vibrator in Fatima Whitbread’s wardrobe on Through The Keyhole
When Keith Lemon toured Fatima Whitbread’s home on TV’s Through The Keyhole, eagle-eyed viewers spotted this vibrator in her wardrobe. Clearly I’ve led a sheltered life. I thought it was a karaoke mic.
Researchers reckon menus that are handwritten rather than printed fool us in to thinking the food on offer is healthier. True. Poncey descriptions sucker us too. Anyone for “seared, line-caught, sustainable Wild Alaskan pollock nestling on a bed of petit-pois coulis with hand-cut, triple-cooked, organic potato wedges”? That’s fish and chips with mushy peas to you and me.
At journalism college, we were taught the basic premise that “dog bites man” isn’t a story but “man bites dog” is. Or to put it bluntly, the norm isn’t newsworthy. Last week, we heard a German man was shot by his dog. Words fail me.
Social work students at Kingston University were offered compensation after successfully complaining that having to find their own work placements triggered stress. Some of the 20 said they had considered self-harm. Doesn’t bode well for how they’ll cope with the many travails of working life, does it?
Keith Lemon hints Emily Atack has landed Celeb Juice job