Dan Reed stands by the story he tells in “Leaving Neverland”.
The documentary focuses on two men, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, who detail the alleged sexual abuse they suffered as children at the hands of Michael Jackson.
Reed and his film have repeatedly been trashed by the Jackson estate. The singer’s estate is also suing HBO, claiming the network breached its agreement by airing a documentary that could cause “reprehensible disparagement” of Jackson.
Reed has been criticized for the graphic nature of the documentary and for not interviewing members of Jackson’s family; Reed, however, says it was the only way to tell the two men’s stories.
“I think for many years Jackson got away with this image of being a bit of a child himself and being very affectionate with children, and I wanted to make sure people understood this wasn’t overenthusiastic kissing or cuddling,” he told “CBS This Morning”. “This was sex, the kind of sex adults have but he was having with a little child.
“No one else was in the room, I don’t believe, when Wade was being molested by Michael, or when James was having sex with Michael,” he said when asked why members of Jackson’s estate were not interviewed. “What does the family know about the sexual abuse? Do you think they know about the sexual abuse?”
“What was important to me was to have eyewitnesses or people who could add something to the story,” Reed continued. “I don’t know that the Jackson family has any direct knowledge of what happened to Wade and James.”
Jackson’s family also spoke with “CBS This Morning”. “Leaving Neverland” premiered at Sundance and has been criticized for being one-sided.