“The lie that Jackson perpetrated while he was alive that he was a great defender and supporter of children – and the ferocity with which his business associates and his family have defended him – mean that his fall will be that much harder. People will have to listen to his music in the knowledge that he was a prolific child rapist. If they’re comfortable doing that, fine. If they’re not, well perhaps listen to something else for a while,” says Dan Reed, the director of the forthcoming documentary Leaving Neverland.
The singer’s family – his brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Tito, with whom he performed as The Jackson Five – have attacked the film, insisting that Jackson’s “slumber parties” with young boys were innocent. Jackson’s estate has also launched a $100 million ($146m) lawsuit against HBO, which aired the first part of the documentary in America on Sunday night.
Ever since Leaving Neverland first aired at the Sundance Film Festival, in Utah, on January 25, amid a large police presence, the documentary has stirred up strong emotions.
It is due to air in New Zealand in two-parts on TVNZ1 on March 10 and 11 (as well as being available to stream at TVNZ OnDemand).
Image: Supplied to Stuff