On Wednesday night’s The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Oprah Winfrey sat down with Noah and explained why she still stands by the interview she did following HBO’s Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland. Winfrey told Noah that she “never wavered” despite recent news that there may be a timeline discrepancy in James Safechuck’s story.
“I had girls at my school who were sexually assaulted and abused. And I have never won a case,” she stated. “When you put a girl on the witness stand and she can’t remember was it Thursday or Wednesday, it’s automatically discredited.”
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, biographer Mike Smallcombe claimed there’s a discrepancy in Safechuck’s story of alleged abuse.
“The deficiency in Safechuck’s story is this — construction on Neverland’s train station didn’t start until the latter part of 1993, and it didn’t open until the first part of 1994, when Safechuck was 16. So abuse in the train station wasn’t possible if the abuse stopped in 1992, as he claims in his testimony, as it didn’t even exist then. There’s a two-year difference.”
‘Leaving Neverland’ director Dan Reed attempted to refute a reported timeline discrepancy on Monday that has called his film’s credibility into question, but his efforts appeared to have backfired after his own source of information cried foul.
The primary controversy surrounding the HBO documentary involves an accusation by James Safechuck, who said the late global musical icon Michael Jackson molested him from 1988-1992, ending when he was 14 years old. He alleged they “would have sex” at various places on the singer’s California Neverland Valley Ranch, including inside its train station. However, that facility reportedly had not yet been built when Safechuck claimed sex crimes occurred there.
While Reed acknowledged Safechuck’s flawed timeline of events more than three weeks ago, the filmmaker changed course Monday morning, tweeting: “The train station – one of many Neverland locations where James Safechuck was abused – was already complete before the 1993 construction permit was approved, says Michael Jackson personal photographer Harrison Funk in an engagingly candid Jan. 2019 podcast.”
The British singer talks about his complicated feelings after watching the controversial HBO docuseries and what it's missing.
Boy George dropped by the "Watch What Happens Live" clubhouse and pointed out the one key thing that journalists have been criticizing about the recent "Leaving Neverland" documentary regarding Michael Jackson.
"I think, one of the things that isn't in any of those documentaries is the word 'alleged,'" Boy George told Andy Cohen. "It's just taken almost for granted that this is what happened and therefore we all should accept it."
The controversial Leaving Neverland made its debut on March 3, but the estate of Michael Jackson and HBO are still fighting over the sex abuse documentary in a $100 million lawsuit. Today, the premium cabler made a move to shut down a shift to arbitration by the deceased performer’s lawyers
“Optimum Productions and John Branca and John McClain, in their capacities as co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, ask this Court to order arbitration of a poorly disguised and legally barred posthumous defamation claim against Home Box Office, Inc. that arises from HBO’s exercise of its First Amendment rights to exhibit an expressive work on an issue of public concern—the documentary Leaving Neverland,” Hollywood Kingslayers Daniel Petrocelli of O’Melveny & Myers and Theodore Boutrous of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said in their opposition memo on Thursday (read it here).
“Petitioners’ purported basis for their claims is a single non-disparagement sentence buried in a confidentiality rider to a more than 26-year-old expired and entirely unrelated contract,” the attorneys’ note of a portion of a 1992 deal between the now decade long deceased Jackson and HBO over a concert special by the Thriller superstar that is being used as the legal wedge in this matter. “Petitioners’ effort to ‘publicly’ arbitrate these issues appears to be part of a transparent effort to bolster their publicity campaign against the documentary, but that undertaking is as poorly conceived as the claims themselves.