Surveillance video from a Zales in Simi Valley showed Jackson wearing a costume that included a phony mustache, fake teeth and a wig. Security thought he looked suspicious and actually stopped Jackson, thinking he was going to rob the store. Several media outlets covered the story back then because it was Michael Jackson getting questioned as a potential thief.
TMZ has confirmed the boy in the video is Safechuck. No one knew that at the time, and the child was barely mentioned in any of the reports about Jackson being stopped by security.
A report from when the story first broke said Michael only purchased toys and some sunglasses that day.
It's interesting because in the HBO documentary, "Leaving Neverland" ... Safechuck talks about the "engagement ring" he says Jackson bought for him. We're told the purchase didn't happen during this trip to the store.
It was previously unknown this famous vid included Jackson in the act of trying, though ... allegedly.
Much of the debate around Dan Reed’s documentary has centered on whether viewers believed the emotional, clearly personally painful accusations levied by subjects Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom laid out, in explicit detail, how Jackson allegedly groomed and took advantage of them when they were children. Jackson’s family denies them, certainly, and his most vociferous supporters refuse, as always, to be swayed. The effects on less partisan viewers were such, though, that a number of radio stations, and even TV shows, have moved to cut ties with the musician and his estate.
Which brings us, in roundabout fashion, to Jackson’s fellow musical celebrity, Barbra Streisand, who absolutely believes Robson and Safechuck. But also, really: Was being sexually assaulted by a world-famous musician really so damaging to their lives?
That’s the extremely rough takeaway from an interview Streisand gave to The Times this week, wherein she responded to questions about Neverland with a truly baffling mixture of sympathy and “Bygones be bygones, huh?” cheerfulness. Let’s jump right to the worst bit, shall we?
“You can say ‘molested,’” Streisand started, ominously, “but those children, as you heard them say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuk], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Michael Jackson’s family members and former colleagues push back against Leaving Neverland, the shocking, two-part HBO documentary that highlighted pedophilia claims made against the late singer.
The doc is a direct response to the allegations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who say that Jackson sexually abused them for years when they were children. Jackson, who died in 2009, denied all claims of sexual misconduct when he was alive. He was criminally charged with abusing children, but acquitted after a trial in 2005.
Neverland Firsthand, directed by Eli Pedraza and uploaded to YouTube on Saturday, features interviews with Taj Jackson (the singer’s nephew), Brandi Jackson (the singer’s niece), and Brad Sundberg, the longtime technical director for the late singer, who also worked on Neverland Ranch.
“Not in a million years did I ever see a child around Michael Jackson that looked like they had been distressed, hurt, abused,” Sundberg says in the film, in an interview with producer Liam McEwan. “[Neverland] was such a peaceful, safe, fun place.”