Barbra Streisand would like to apologize and clarify her stance about Wade Robson and James Safechuck's child sex abuse allegations against the late Michael Jackson, after coming under fire over her comments.
The two detail in the recent shocking HBO documentary Leaving Neverland what they describe as years of molestation and grooming by the King of Pop when they were kids. On Friday, The London Times quoted Streisand, 76, as saying that while she "absolutely" believes Jackson's accusers, they were "thrilled to be there," and that the singer's alleged behavior "didn't kill them."
"To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone," Streisand said in a statement to E! News via her rep on Saturday. "The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It's clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy."
Streisand later posted on her Instagram page, "I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way."
"Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives," she continued. "I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth."
Jackson's family has denounced Leaving Neverland and deny all accusations made against the late singer. In a 2005 criminal trial, Jackson was famously acquitted of charges of molesting a different boy.
"His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has," The London Times had quoted Streisand as saying. "You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them."
When asked if she was angry with Jackson, Streisand was quoted as saying, "It's a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?"