Michael Jackson's Brother Jermaine Defends Him Over Leaving Neverland Claims

The new documentary focuses on allegations of child sexual abuse two men have made against the late King of Pop.

By Corinne Heller Jan 30, 2019 5:25 PMTags

Jermaine Jackson, brother of the late Michael Jackson, reiterates that the allegations of child sexual abuse two men make against the King of Pop in a new documentary are untrue and is pleading to the public to let the late King of Pop rest in peace.

The film, which focuses on accusations by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on Friday and drew emotional reactions from the press and other viewers. Michael's estate had denounced the documentary before its release. In a new interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Jermaine said he is "1,000 percent sure" of his brother's innocence.

"Because Michael was tried by a jury, and he was acquitted on all of this because there was no real evidence, there was nothing there," he said. "Our family are tired. We're very tired. Let this man rest. He did a lot for the world. Let him rest. There is no truth to this documentary."

Michael Jackson: A Life

A few years after Michael's 2009 death, Wade and James filed civil lawsuits against his estate, claiming sexual misconduct by him. Their cases were dismissed. In a 2005 criminal trial, Jackson was acquitted of charges of molesting a different boy, a 13-year-old at his Neverland ranch. Wade had testified in the singer's defense, saying the King of Pop had "never" touched him in a sexual way. But in his civil lawsuit, Wade stated that he did not think he'd been sexually abused until he suffered two nervous breakdowns and went to psychotherapy as an adult, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We're living in a time where people can say anything and then it's taken [for] the truth," Jermaine said on Good Morning Britain. "They would rather believe a documentary than looking at what was said under oath, in front of a judge, jury, everything."

Earlier this month, Jackson's estate had called Leaving Neverland "yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson," adding, "Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed 'master of deception', filed lawsuits against Michael's Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed."

Jermaine signaled on Good Morning Britain that the documentary and the reactions to it have been "very, very tough" on his family.

"When these things happen, we pull together," he said. "The statement that we put out with the estate says it all as well. But I wanted to come on because I've always jumped to my brother's defense even when he was living, and now. But I'm just saying, he was tried with all of these things and even Child Services of Los Angeles cleared him, even before the trial in Santa Barbara. So they had to put and sling him through the mud and he was cleared of all of this. So it's nonsense."

Justin Sullivan/Pool/Wireimage

In 2003, ABC and Britain's ITV aired the shocking documentary Living with Michael Jackson, which stated that the singer, then in his mid-40s, still had sleepovers with young boys. The allegations were never proved and Michael aired a rebuttal.

"Those were slumber parties," Jermaine said on Good Morning Britain, regarding sleepovers Michael was reported to have had with the kids. "What they didn't tell you was there were little girls there, even with their parents, their uncles, and they were sitting down, watching movies."

Wade had claimed in his complaint that he and his sister shared a bed with Michael one night at Neverland, while their parents slept in another room, and that the following night, his sister didn't want to sleep in the bed again, so he and the singer stayed there alone. He claims that that is when Michael began his alleged sexual abuse of him, which allegedly continued for seven years.

On Good Morning Britain, Jermaine was asked if the family planned on pursuing legal action against the Leaving Neverland filmmakers.

"That's something for the estate," he said. "We lost Michael, we lost a father, we're still mourning, we lost a lot. Just leave us alone, leave him alone, Let him rest, please. Let him rest. He deserves to rest."