Oprah Winfrey sits down with the subjects of a new HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” and asks the late Michael Jackson’s accusers why they testified in support of Jackson as he battled over molestation charges in 2005.
During a panel discussion with child sexual abuse accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, she says:
“If you were abused, why would you continue to want to be around the person?”
In front of an audience of sexual abuse survivors, Robson and Safechuck allege that the pop superstar used a “grooming process” to molest them when they were children between the ages of 7 and 10.
As reported by People, the two men describe the act of grooming in detail.
In Safechuck’s account, he explains that he trusted Jackson and was reportedly blinded by his love for him, which was displayed through an alleged marriage ceremony with rings and handwritten vows. Safechuck said:
“That moment was part of him telling me we’ll be together forever. It was an action to solidify our love. I was getting a little older and I was a little more insecure about my position, so it was sort of reminding me that we’ll always be together.”
“Even before that, I was all in. He also wedges a space between you and your parents, you and the rest of the world. He works very hard at that. So it’s you and him against the world. And that intense love combined with the world’s intense love for him is overwhelming.”
Safechuck and Robson continued to recount their experiences in detail and added:
“Michael had just drilled in you over and over since you were a kid, ‘If we’re caught, your life is over, my life is over.’ It’s repeated over and over and over again. That’s just drilled into your nervous system. So it’s panic of being caught. It takes a lot of work to sort through that.”
The two men maintain they were sexually abused despite their shifting statement from 2005. Members of Jackson’s family have tried to block the two-part documentary from airing on March 3 and 4. Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s older brother, told CBS:
“Michael’s not here to defend himself.”
“The facts are public record. I mean what he testified under oath are all the different things that he said.”
Winfrey said during the taping of the special:
“I know people all over the world are gonna be in an uproar and debating whether or not Michael Jackson did these things or not, did he do it or not do it, whether these two men are lying or not lying.”
“But for me, this moment transcends Michael Jackson. It is much bigger than any one person. This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption. It’s like a scourge on humanity and it’s happening right now. It’s happening in families.”
“Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland” will air on Winfrey’s OWN network at 10 p.m. EST, immediately following the second part of the four-hour HBO documentary.
Watch the video below: