In the controversial documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” one of Michael Jackson’s sex abuse accusers revealed he was 10 when he married the singer in a private ceremony at his California apartment.
Vulture reports that James Safechuck claimed he was seven when he met Jackson, then 30, on the set of a Pepsi commercial. Safechuck said the sexual abuse began shortly after the initial 1987 meeting, escalating from shopping sprees and hanging out, to spending nights together at the singer’s Los Angeles apartment, which he called a “hideout.”
“So we were like this married couple. I say married because we had this mock wedding ceremony,” Safechuck claimed in the documentary before presenting the ring.
“We did this in his bedroom and we filled out some vows like we would be bonded forever. It felt good. And the ring is nice. It has a row of diamonds. The wedding ring.”
Safechuck recalled how Jackson would allegedly reward him with jewelry for performing sex acts. He also claimed he and the singer would go to jewelry stores under the guise of purchasing something for a woman—and would use his smaller hand as a reference, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“He would say that I need to sell him some so I could earn the gift,” he said, referring to jewelry Jackson would allegedly give him.
The first installment of “Leaving Neverland” aired on HBO on Sunday, with the conclusion of the two-part documentary scheduled to air on Monday. (The entire four-hour documentary is available for streaming online.)
Along with Safechuck, another one of Jackson’s accusers who appeared in “Leaving Neverland,” Wade Robson, 36, had previously denied being sexually abused by the singer. USA Today reported that Safechuck denied the allegations when he was a child while Robson did so under oath during Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trial.
Earlier this year, a judge denied the Safechuck and Robson’s bid for a piece of the late singer’s estate. The pair plan to appeal and will have their case heard later this year, according to the outlet.
Not only do we have to deal with these lies, but we’ve also got to deal with people perpetuating these lies. The fact that they fail to do the small amount of research it takes to prove these are lies, by choice or not, makes it even worse.
— Brett Barnes (@IAmBrettBarnes) January 30, 2019
Late last month, Michael Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO for violating a non-disparagement clause in a 1992 contract between Jackson and HBO, stemming from the network’s rights to air “Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour.” Rolling Stone reported that an estate cannot sue for defamation as deceased individuals are exempt.
Moreover, a man named Brett Barnes has reportedly lawyered up in another potential lawsuit against HBO. According to TMZ, Barnes believes Robson insinuated that he “replaced” Barnes before the documentary features a picture of Barnes alongside Jackson.
Barnes has denied being molested by Jackson. While the documentary showed text stating Barnes’ denial, his team reportedly believes it’s not an adequate remedy to “cure such a despicable allegation.”
Meanwhile, TMZ reported that HBO dismissed Barnes’ assertion, making the possibility of litigation more imminent.
[Featured Image: Michael Jackson/AP Photo/Joel Ryan]