In the wake of the accusations of sexual assault levied against the late Michael Jackson in the documentary Leaving Neverland, the pop star’s former doctor, Neil Ratner, spoke about Jackson’s obsession with childhood in an exclusive Daily Star interview.
Ratner, who grew close to the “Smooth Criminal” singer during his time as Jackson’s physician through the ’90s, believes that Jackson’s inability to let go of his childhood stems in large part from his upbringing and his relationship with his father, Joe Jackson.
“I only know what he told me and when were [sic] on tour in South Africa on a few occasions his father came so I did get to meet his father, speak to his father and see his adult relationship with him,” he said.
He added: “He just freaked out that he missed his childhood and he really related to the innocence of childhood.
“You know, we talked often about how we're born an empty slate pretty much and as we grow older we're taught various things and we tend to start to close off because of the things we're taught.
Sheryl Crow's time as a backing singer for Michael Jackson's Bad Tour left her with some questions about his behavior amid, the singer revealed in a recent interview with The Telegraph following the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary, which alleged Jackson had sexually abused children in his care before his 2009 death.
“I haven't seen the documentary and I don't want to see it," she said of the film, which has been broadly denied by Jackson's estate. “I was around for some things that I thought were really strange and I had a lot of questions about.”
One of those questions was as to why James Safechuck, a 9-year-old boy who was part of the 1987-1989 tour, was spending so much time with the King of Pop.
She told The Guardian, "I happened to turn on CNN the morning after the first half [of Leaving Neverland] aired."
"They showed clips of the young man who was on the Jackson tour with us and it made me… I mean, I still feel really…" she continued. "It’s like a death in the family, you know? It’s sad."
James Safechuck has come out strong against Chappelle too, adding, "I'm heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse. I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can't let this type of behavior silence us. Together we are strong."
Wade's lawyer, Vince Finaldi, adds ... "Although Mr. Chappelle is entitled to his opinions, however misinformed they may be, it’s unfortunate that he has chosen to use his platform to shame sexual abuse victims, and spread his ignorance of sexual abuse and the way it is perpetrated upon children, in an attempt to resurrect his career."
Finaldi continues ... "Mr. Chappelle should look to fellow comedian Hannibal Buress, who instead used his platform as a mode of social change, by addressing the injustice of Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual abuse of many women head on when no other comedian would, as an example of positive work done from a place of intestinal fortitude.”