James Safechuck, one of the victims claiming that Michael Jackson sexually abused him as a child in ‘Leaving Neverland’, says that he & Jackson once held a ‘mock wedding’ ceremony.
Leaving Neverland is set to air on HBO tonight at 8 pm Eastern, and the two-part documentary details the alleged sexual abuse suffered by James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who claim Michael Jackson allegedly molested them separately when they were children. Here’s everything you need to know about Safechuck and his allegations. (While alive, Michael Jackson denied that he ever sexually abused children, and Jackson’s family denies both Safechuck’s and Robson’s allegations.)
1. Safechuck claims he met Jackson around the time of his 9th birthday. After meeting on the set of a Pepsi commercial, Safechuck claims that Jackson befriended him before allegedly sexually abusing him, according to CBS.
2. Safechuck agrees with Robson’s claim that Jackson’s alleged abuse was incremental. “He introduced me to masturbation … he said I taught him how to French kiss … and then it moves onto oral sex,” Safechuck told CBS This Morning.
3. Safechuck also claimed in a preview for the documentary that he and Jackson had a mock wedding ceremony. “We did this in his bedroom and we filled out some vows like we would be bonded forever,” Safechuck said. “It felt good. And the ring is nice. It has a row of diamonds. The wedding ring.”
4. Safechuck has a family of his own now. While admitting that shooting the documentary was tough, hearing Jackson’s music can also be very triggering for him. “It’s still really hard for me. And I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t hear a song,” he told Vanity Fair. “You go out to have a drink with your friend, you’re trying to relax and let everything go, and he’ll come on. Every time. It’s hard. It gets easier, but it’s still hard.”
5. Safechuck was initially hesitant in coming forward with his own story in Leaving Neverland. “I was concerned about somebody just sensationalizing the story,” he told the Associated Press in Feb., 2019. “Is this person out to just put together a piece for people to watch because it’s Michael? Or is it somebody who is going to tell the story of survivors and abuse and what that’s like?”