Corey Feldman Defends Michael Jackson, Calls 'Leaving Neverland' Doc 'One-Sided'
Feldman also said the accusers “must be heard,” however, and blasted parents for leaving their kids with Jackson.
Corey Feldman performing at Michael Jackson tribute wearing a glove and hat given to him by Jackson [Chris McKay/Getty Images]
LOS ANGELES, CA — In the wake of HBO’s explosive documentary Leaving Neverland, actor and musician Corey Feldman declared again that late pop star Michael Jackson never touched him inappropriately.
As a child performer in the 1980s, Feldman, now 47, was a close friend of the adult Jackson, and the two spent a considerable amount of time together. Feldman has always maintained that Jackson did not molest him.
Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, were also child performers in the eighties, and Jackson also befriended them. In Leaving Neverland, Robson and Safechuck allege that the singer sexually abused them for years.
Feldman has long claimed that Hollywood is overrun with pedophiles, and he says that he personally suffered sexual abuse by a number of unnamed culprits. Jackson, he insists, was not one of them. Feldman is presently an “ambassador” for the anti-abuse organization Child USA.
In a series of tweets during part one of the Leaving Neverland broadcast on Sunday, Feldman defended Jackson, called the documentary “one-sided,” and suggested that Robson and Safechuck perhaps felt abandoned and were looking for a payday. Among Feldman’s online declarations were the following:
- “Never once swore in my presence, never touched me inappropriately, & never ever suggested we should be lovers in any way! I feel like if ppl could hear our convos they would hear the innocence in them. No hint of perversion.”
- “Again, I wasn’t there when those boys were. But i was there around the same time as Jimmy and I saw many kids around (girls included) who I am still friends with to this day and none of us were ever approached by him in a sexual way at all. So as much as those two men deserve to have their voices heard, so do the thousands of kids who hung around him, that don’t agree!”
- “So given the opportunity which he certainly had w me & others, being alone, w no parents around, how did he control those urges so well, while so blatantly sexual w those two boys? It doesn’t really fit the profile,” he wrote. “But what motive besides $ do they hav? Abandonment is a strong 1.”
- “I do take issue with the fact that this whole thing is 1 sided W no chance of defence from a dead man and no evidence other than the word of two men who as adults defended him in court.”
Feldman also said he had tapes of himself conversing for hours with Jackson and that he was considering releasing them to the public to “give people a look at what a 30-year-old man/child & a 13-year-old boy would discuss, so everyone could hear the innocence of our relationship.”
On Tuesday, Page Six ran a new interview with Feldman in which the actor clarified his remarks. Talking to a reporter, Feldman said: “What happened with me [and Jackson] was strictly aboveboard. We’d be on the phone for hours. You’re talking about someone who has spent their life in the industry, who grew up in the industry, and didn’t have a childhood and have friends and have sleepovers, I could relate. That was my life. We both came from abuse — abusive homes. There is not a lot of kindred minds that can connect on those levels or achieve the success he had. That was the common ground we shared.”
Nonetheless, Feldman expressed sympathy for Robson and Safechuck, stating: “I am not saying they are lying. I wasn’t there. I can only go based on my experiences. Every victim’s voice must be taken seriously and must be heard. In no way would I ever intimate that I would want them to be silenced.”
Going further, Feldman said, “If God forbid these things were true, then there is a completely different Michael that I knew. I guess anything in the world of pedophilia is possible. All I can say is my heart goes out to both of them — and if for any reason the things are proven true, I would be in full support of them.”
In the course of the discussion, Feldman pointed out that Jackson had been found not guilty of abuse charges in 2005 and that the only sex-related talk he and Jackson ever had was when the singer showed him a “book of venereal diseases … warning me about being sexually active and how dangerous it is.”
Finally, Feldman reserved his deepest anger for the parents of Robson and Safechuck. He told Page Six: “As a father, I could not ever imagine allowing my child to go off with a grown man I did not consider as close as family without any adult supervision. Not even Michael Jackson. It comes down to trading your kids out for an opportunity, and making them the focus of your financial interests, as opposed to the child’s wellbeing.”
Michael Jackson died in 2009 at age 50 from a drug overdose. The Jackson estate has called Leaving Neverland a “public lynching” and last week filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO over the documentary.
For more on Michael Jackson, watch Investigation Discovery's Barbara Walters Presents: Michael Jackson: The Man in the Mirror on ID GO now!