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James Safechuck's Michael Jackson Abuse Claims 'Exposed As Pure Fiction'. 31-03-'19

James SafechuckJames Safechuck's claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson have been 'exposed as lies', according to a biographer.

Mike Smallcombe claims the accuser's story of being abused in Neverland’s train station cannot be true as it was built two years after he said the assaults stopped.

Mr Smallcombe claims by looking into accusations made on the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland' he has uncovered a significant flaw.

When describing the details of the abuse, Mr Safechuck alleges he was assaulted in an upstairs room in Neverland’s train station, which many will recognise because of its floral clock.

But Mr Smallcombe says this is seemingly impossible, as Mr Safechuck claimed in his lawsuit against Jackson’s Estate that he was abused from 1988 until 1992, when he was 14.

Mr Smallcombe told Mirror Online: "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."

Jackson was apparently away on the Dangerous Tour and then in rehab in London the entire time the train station was being constructed in 1993.

Mr Smallcombe added: "And then between February 1994 and December 1994, Jackson was living in Trump Tower in New York recording his 'HIStory' album, and only making the odd trip abroad.

"Once to get married to Lisa Marie Presley. The train station opened in 1994, while Jackson was living on the other side of the country.

“The latter point is, by the time Jackson was at Neverland and the train station was actually open, it was early 1995, three years after Safechuck said the abuse stopped.

"And by then Safechuck was 17, and on the cusp of adulthood.”

Speaking to Mirror Online last week, Mr Smallcombe also claimed that Mr Safechuck lied about refusing to testify for Jackson in his 2005 trial.

It was reported that a judge banned all evidence about Mr Safechuck from the courtroom early on in the trial, as it was unreliable.

A private investigator who worked on the trial, allegedly added that Mr Safechuck was a ‘nonentity’ in the case from the beginning.

Source: Mirror / Billie Jean

Will.i.am: Michael Jackson Allegations Are Part Of 'Racist Smear Campaign'. 30-03-'19

will-i-amWill.i.am says the allegations made against Michael Jackson are part of a "racist smear campaign".

The 'Scream and Shout' hitmaker has branded the claims made by James Safechuck and Wade Robson in the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland', where they claim that Michael sexually abused both of them after befriending them when they were children, as part of a "smear campaign" against the singer.

He said: "I don't know what to trust or who to believe. Who is behind it or what? Obviously it's money. All I know is it's a smear campaign. If he did it, then it's sad and inhumane. But if he didn't, then what is happening is sad and inhumane."

Will.i.am worked with Michael before his passing and praised him for being a "genuine and big-hearted person".

He added: "The Michael Jackson I loved I will always love. The person I met was the kindest and most genuine and big-hearted person, who wouldn't hurt a fly."

Some have called for Michael Jackson's music to be banned in the wake of the allegations but will.i.am has fumed at this, liking it to "not doing anything with anyone who ever did anything ill in the past?"

Speaking at Elstree studios, he shared: "We live in a very, very, very, very hypocritical, double-standard, fake society. I can name a thousand other products that we still buy, still use, that are owned by folks that have done the most horrendous things to people, millions of them, and we don't take their products from the market. You're not talking about banning Bayer that made the chemicals to kill all the Jews. You're not talking about real s**t and yet you want to flex on a song? Bayer is really responsible for chemicals that killed millions of people but they're headache medicine now.

"Are you going to ridicule them for their past? Are there reparations that need to be done for that? Imagine every country that ever had slaves, people said never travel to those countries because of what they've done in the past. Are you not supposed to do anything with anyone who ever did anything ill in the past?"

The Michael Jackson estate has hit back at the allegations made by James and Wade, branding both accusers "perjurers" and "admitted liars".

Source: MSN / Billie Jean

Outgoing Sony/ATV Chief Martin Bandier Talks Legacy, Industry’s Future, Spotify (EXCLUSIVE). 29-03-'19

Martin BandierToday marks the end of an era: It’s Martin Bandier’s last day as chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher. Over 12 years, he built the company into a juggernaut that includes the catalogs of The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder among thousands of others. It has been the No. 1 publishing company every quarter in the last six years except for one.

Bandier himself is one of the most formidable music publishers of all time, with a career that stretches back to the early 70's and also includes building SBK and EMI Music Publishing into powerhouses. Along the way, he’s been the architect of some of the biggest deals in the music industry, including EMI Music Publishing’s purchase of the Motown catalog, spearheading the consortium that brought EMI Music Publishing to Sony/ATV for some $2.2 billion, and leading the Sony Corporation’s $750 million acquisition of half of Sony/ATV from Michael Jackson’s estate. He’s also the founder of the Bandier Program, the highly respected music-business program at his alma mater, Syracuse University, which has spawned dozens.

Bandier is also going out with a bang: Earlier this month he signed Dolly Parton and her enormously lucrative catalog — which happens to including one of the top-earning songs of the past 30 years, 'I Will Always Love You' — to Sony/ATV. As for what’s next, Bandier is reported to be starting a new venture in partnership with Texas-based investment company TPG Capital (a majority owner of CAA and an investor in Spotify), although he declined to discuss it just yet.

However, in this exclusive interview from his last week on the job, he talked about plenty of other things, including his legacy, where the industry is, where it’s going, what he really thinks of Spotify and streaming services and their efforts to lower the Copyright Royalty Board’s rate-raise for songwriters, and more — including a memorable meeting with Abba. Come back for Part 2 on Monday (April 1), where Bandier talks about the five deals he’s most proud of, the ones that got away (including a memorable encounter with Michael Jackson), and how to learn from losing.

Source: Variety / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Languishes On Real Estate Market. 29-03-'19

Neverland RanchDays before HBO's 'Leaving Neverland' shone a light on the pop star's alleged sexual misconduct, brokers slashed the property's price from $69 million to $31 million.

Got a tough listing? It could be worse. Imagine trying to unload Michael Jackson's or Phil Spector's onetime home. That's the reality for several brokers currently selling properties inextricably tied to very public acts of molestation and murder, respectively.

What binds the two is the visibility of the scandals: Both Spector's crime and Jackson's alleged misdeeds ended up as HBO movies. "So many houses in L.A. have a history. All the great ones do," says Hilton & Hyland's Ladd Jackson, who has the listing for Spector's former estate — known as Pyrenees Castle — in Alhambra. The nine-bedroom, 10-bathroom French chateau, which is listed for $5.5 million, is where Lana Clarkson was murdered by the music producer in 2003. "The incident happened 20 years ago. Big deal. I get it," says Jackson. "The house is an amazing piece of history, and, truthfully, the incident was just a momentary event."

Jackson has a point. Los Angeles has never been short on tabloid scandals, and in the last 30 years, some of the most high-profile of those scandals have been inextricably tied to real estate. The O.J. Simpson saga involved both the apartment on Bundy Drive owned by Nicole Brown Simpson — where her body, along with Ron Goldman’s, was found after being brutally murdered — and, not far from there, Simpson’s mansion on Rockingham Avenue, which was razed and rebuilt in 1998 (the condo has sold twice since the murders). The 9,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home on Elm Drive where Lyle and Erik Menendez gunned down their parents in 1989 has also sold several times — three, to be exact — since the brothers’ arrest.

But of the two estates currently on the market, it would seem that Ojai's Sycamore Valley Ranch, previously known as Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, has a tougher hill to climb amid new attention on the late pop star's alleged sexual misconduct. The brokers — Compass' Suzanne Perkins and Kyle Forsyth — announced a price cut of $69 million to $31 million days before HBO aired 'Leaving Neverland', a four-hour documentary that centers on the testimonies of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that Jackson sexually abused them as children. "The price has a lot to do with these particular properties," says Westside Estate Agency's Johanna Falduto, who in 1992 sold the Cielo Drive house in L.A. where Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family 23 years earlier. "If it's a good deal the right buyer might look the other way."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean

Jackson Tribute Act Says ‘Business Is Booming’ As People Are Talking About Singer Again. 28-03-'19

Simply Jackson
Michael Jackson tribute singer Simply Jackson.

A Michael Jackson tribute singer has reportedly said his “business is booming”, as people are once again discussing the singer following the release of a documentary alleging the star sexually abused children.

Edward Cook performs under the name “Simply Jackson”.

“People are talking about Michael Jackson again,” he told Bristol Live, adding the controversy had been “like an advertisement” for his act.

Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused the late singer of molesting them as children in detailed accounts filmed for 'Leaving Neverland', a documentary co-produced by HBO and Channel 4.

It was aired on the latter channel in the UK in two parts on 6 and 7 March.

“In a roundabout way it is having a positive effect,” Mr Cook said.

“The only thing it has done is increase bookings.

“It’s quite a selfish thing for me to say, because I do respect what the Jackson family are going through right now. They are a famous family but they are still a family.”

The tribute artist does not believe the abuse allegations against Jackson. The late singer’s estate and family continues to deny the accusations.

“There is no part of me that thinks there is any truth in it,” Mr Cook told Bristol Live, though he admitted to “panicking” after 'Leaving Neverland' was released.

“If someone has been abused that is very serious but there is just no way of telling whether there is any truth in it,” he said.

“I wouldn’t impersonate someone who gets up to that sort of thing.”

Following the release of 'Leaving Neverland' radio stations have dropped Michael Jackson’s songs, 'The Simpsons' has withdrawn an episode in which he appeared from circulation and debate has raged over the singer’s legacy.

Wade Robson, one of the two men who appeared in the documentary, said he hoped it would help people “question in general who it is that we’re worshipping and why”.

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean

Viewer Spots Michael On A Weather Map? 26-03-'19

Viewers were left reeling after spotting a Michael Jackson-like figure during a BBC weather forecast.

It appears to share the King of Pop’s thick locks and facial features.

Rita Taylor tweeted: “According to the BBC they’ve spotted Prince on this map.

“Could be Michael Jackson me thinks. Can you see him?”

John Gibbons wrote: “I thought it was Michael Jackson, my wife thought it was Elvis.”

BBC WeatherViewers shocked after Michael Jackson figure appears on BBC weather forecast.

Viewer Susan Webster added: "Couldn’t believe my eyes – Prince with his white guitar, off the coast of Aberdeen – Purple Rain in the forecast perhaps."

Others compared it to Bruce Springsteen, Little Richard, and Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Source: BBC / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Juror Eleanor Cook Didn't Believe Wade Robson's Testimony. 25-03-'19

Eleanor CookA juror on Michael Jackson's molestation trial ''didn't believe'' Wade Robson's testimony that the pop star never sexually abused him at any time at his Neverland home.

The choreographer - who claimed in recent documentary 'Leaving Neverland' he had been abused as a child by the 'Thriller' hitmaker - took to the witness stand to defend the late King of Pop at his 2005 trial for allegedly molesting teenager Gavin Arvizo, but Eleanor Cook felt both Wade and actor Macaulay Culkin lied under oath to protect the singer.

Asked about Wade and Macaulay saying under oath that they had never been abused by Jackson, Eleanor, now 93, said: ''I didn't believe them. They were kids who grew up with Michael.''

Eleanor, who was juror number five, admitted she and another juror strongly felt the 'Billie Jean' singer was guilty but eventually decided to agree with the rest of the panel because they ''knew we weren't going to change anyone's mind''.

In an interview with RadarOnline.com, she said: ''We gave in. I definitely thought he was guilty with all my heart and soul. I have always thought that. I have prayed about it.''

Michael - who died from acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 - was acquitted of all charges but the juror felt he ''should have been sent to jail'' and ''punished''.

However, Eleanor did admit she ''felt sorry'' for the 'Scream' singer.

She said: ''His father mistreated him. Yes, he was guilty, and he did a lot of that stuff. But he had a hard life, and his mother was the only one that was there every day. She was a very sweet woman.''

A spokesperson for 'My Girl' actor Macaulay declined to address Eleanor's comments.

They said: ''We decline to dignify the request with a response.''

However, the 38-year-old actor has always denied any suggestion the 'Bad' hitmaker ever acted inappropriately towards him.

In director Dan Reed's 'Leaving Neverland', both Wade and James Safechuck claimed they were abused by the singer until they became teenagers.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Ofcom Rejects Complaints About Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland'. 25-03-'19

Ofcom has rejected hundreds of complaints made about the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', which details allegations of sexual abuse made against Michael Jackson.

The media regulator received a total of 230 complaints from viewers of the two-part Channel 4 documentary, who felt that it wasn’t made clear enough that the accusations described had not been proved in court, and had been vehemently denied by the Jackson estate.

However, Ofcom did not agree, and has decided not to take the matter any further.

They said: “We understand that this two-part documentary gave rise to strong opinions from viewers. In our view, the allegations were very clearly presented as personal testimonies and it was made clear that the Jackson family rejects them.”

Ofcom also received four complaints about the graphic nature of the descriptions of abuse, though they said that Channel 4 clearly made viewers aware that the content was coming, and that 'Leaving Neverland' was not inappropriate to show after the 9pm watershed.

'Leaving Neverland' aired in two parts on Channel 4 earlier this month, focussing on James Safechuck and Wade Robson’s detailed accounts of sexual abuse at the hands of Jackson when they were children.

The documentary has been blasted by the Jackson estate, who previously urged Channel 4 to rethink their plans to screen it, vehemently denying all allegations against the late singer.

In a letter to the Associated Press, they wrote: “I think we can all agree that the false allegations being made in your ‘documentary’ are ‘significant allegations’. It is hard to imagine more significant accusations that can possibly be made against anyone.”

Source: MSN / Billie Jean

Madame Tussauds To ‘Keep Michael Jackson Waxwork On Display For Foreseeable Future’. 24-03-'19

MJ Wax Statue LondonMadame Tussauds is thought to be keeping their Michael Jackson waxwork on display around the world. Just recently the 'Thriller' hitmaker has fallen under fire after new child sexual abuse claims have come to light in the Netflix documentary 'Leaving Neverland'. But despite the controversy surrounding the star, it seems his figure in Madame Tussauds will still stand strong. In a statement released to TMZ by the company, a spokesperson said: ‘The figures on display at Madame Tussauds reflect profiles that have had an impact on popular culture and that visitors expect to see. ‘Michael Jackson has been and is currently a feature of Madame Tussauds attractions around the world.’ They added: ‘We regularly monitor our choice of figures on display based on external events and visitor feedback. It will be kept on display for the foreseeable future.’

This means fans of the singer will still be able to see him in London, New York, Shanghai and Sydney. Since the documentary’s premiere earlier this year, so-called Michael Jackson ‘truthers’ have come out in defence of the star, protesting against the film. However, the director has gone on to defend 'Leaving Neverland', telling Australia’s Channel Seven morning news show: ‘Facts don’t lie but paedophiles do.’ After facing huge amounts of criticism for the film, Dan Reed said: ‘I didn’t approach this in a naive way.

‘I listened very carefully to days and days and days of interview, then we went and did about 18 months of research and checked everything we could and tried to poke holes in Wade and James’ accounts.’ Dan added: ‘I interviewed the police investigators and the sheriff’s department investigators who were part of looking into Michael Jackson’s background, and none of them had any doubts at all about his guilt.’ Reed also spoke of how he had not made his mind up about Jackson at the start of filming, but was convinced of his guilt by the end of his time with Robson and Safechuck. ‘What I began to realise was that the seduction that Michael Jackson inflicted on these children was kind of part and parcel of all the affection and tenderness and attention that he was giving them,’ he said.

Source: Metro / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Family Claims Wade Robson Changed Story Of Abuse In ‘Leaving Neverland’ For Dramatic Effect. 24-03-'19

Wade Robson‘s story in 'Leaving Neverland' is no doubt captivating, but those who were closest to Michael Jackson claim Robson twisted the facts to make the alleged abuse more sensational for the HBO documentary.

Sources within the Michael Jackson Estate and Jackson family tell The Blast they believe Robson is telling a different story, in Dan Reed‘s 'Leaving Neverland', than what he said under oath during his 2016 deposition as part of the civil case he filed against MJ.

According to court documents, in 2016 Robson said the first alleged incident of abuse occurred while his family was still at Neverland and his sister was sleeping upstairs in Jackson’s room.

However, in 'Leaving Neverland', he claims Jackson convinced Robson’s parents to leave him alone with the singer while they went on a trip to the Grand Canyon, and it was then that Jackson allegedly performed oral sex on him for the first time and kissed him.

Our sources claim the change in the story for the first description of alleged abuse is “more dramatic,” and “not the story he told under oath in his deposition.”

Jacksons FamilyJackson's Family claims Wade Robson changed story of abuse in ‘Leaving Neverland’ for dramatic effect.

The former choreographer’s lawsuit was dismissed in 2017 after a judge ruled that MJ’s companies weren’t liable for any damages, and the credibility of the allegations were never ruled on. He is currently appealing the decision.

The Jackson Estate, which is currently suing HBO for $100 million in damages, claims 'Leaving Neverland', is “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”

Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding 'Leaving Neverland' is continuing to make headlines, as Barbra Streisand found herself under fire after giving an interview where she blamed the parents of Robson and James Safechuck, and said, “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

Late Saturday (March 23) evening, Streisand apologized and clarified her comments, explaining, “I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims.”

The 'Yentl' star continued, “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean

Diana Ross Defends Michael Jackson Amid ‘Leaving Neverland’ Backlash. 23-03-'19

Diana RossDiana Ross is finally speaking out about her late friend, Michael Jackson, following the backlash from the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary, which aired on HBO earlier this month.

According to Deadline, Diana Ross took to her Twitter account on Saturday to make a statement about Michael Jackson, defending the late singer against the horrific sexual abuse allegations brought against him by two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, in the 'Leaving Neverland' film.

“This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is a magnificent incredible force to me and to many others. STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE,” Ross wrote via social media.

Diana’s tweet comes just one day after Barbra Streisand created some controversy among fans when she spoke out about the documentary, saying that Jackson’s accusers, Robson and Safechuck were “thrilled” to be with the King of Pop, and that the alleged sexual abuse “didn’t kill them.”

“To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone. The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy,” Streisand later clarified, following backlash from her original statement.

Source: Inquisitr / Billie Jean

Controversial Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' Is A Flop On French TV After US Ratings Disappointment. 22-03-'19

Leaving NeverlandFrench TV audiences didn’t clamor for 'Leaving Neverland'.

According to reports from Paris, the controversial documentary scored 1.8 million viewers its first part, and 1.1 million in its second part.

That’s about equal to what it did in the US. Audiences have not been excited to hear stories about Jackson as an alleged pedophile. There have also been reports of the documentary being edited for foreign territories as more and more discrepancies are noted by fans.

One such fact problem is when Mrs. Safechuck declares that she “danced” when she heard Michael Jackson was dead. She was thrilled he couldn’t harm any more children. But Jackson died in 2009, and the Safechuck's say Jimmy only realized he’d been molested in 2013. So that doesn’t work at all.

Fan sites and Twitter accounts are brimming with such information. Many of Wade Robson and Jimmy Safehuck’s stories don’t line up with actual events they say they attended.

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonTF1 Will Also Release A New Documentary On Michael Jackson. 22-03-'19

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of the King of Pop, TF1 will also broadcast an original documentary on the singer. But no question of shocking viewers.

If, for now, we talk a lot about the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', broadcast on March 29th on RTL-TVI, other reports are planned for the 10th anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. TF1 is also in possession of a documentary, much less controversial than the first, on the King of Pop.

For a year and a half, film crews followed the star's relatives: her father Joe (deceased during filming), Debbie Rowe (the mother of two of her children, Paris and Prince) and the Neverland staff, as well as that its producers, managers.

For 1:30, the documentary will "go back on the circumstances of his death, explain how, at age 50, he reached this level of exhaustion and addiction to drugs.This is a story that has never been told, "promises Gilles Ganzmann, the director. "But we will also go back to the childhood that he did not have and that illuminates so much of his adult life," adds Christophe Koszarek, producer.

An unpublished docu very different from 'Leaving Neverland' since no accusation is launched against the singer. "It's the exact opposite of the HBO documentary, we're going to show that Michael has been manipulated a lot, that he has been stealing a lot of money over the course of his life." We're going to have a niece of Michael, Brandi Jackson, who was the girlfriend of Wade Robson (one of the speakers of 'Leaving Neverland', Ed.), During the period when he claims to have been abused... and who explains how he took advantage of the generosity of the star ", concludes Christophe Koszarek.

Source: Cine Tele Revue / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Biographer Hits Out At 'Leaving Neverland' Accuser. 22-03-'19

Mike Smallcombe
Mike Smallcombe

A Michael Jackson biographer has slammed one of the singer's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers claiming there is 'no evidence' he was abused.

Mike Smallcombe has accused James Safechuck of lying in Dan Reed's documentary, namely about claiming he had refused to testify for Jackson in his 2005 trial.

At the time the judge ruled there was no evidence that Safechuck had been abused by Jackson, and therefore was not called to testify against the singer when he was eventually cleared of charges of child molestation.

Smallcombe told Mirror Online said there were a number of inaccuracies in the alleged victim's story.

“In the documentary, Safechuck claims Jackson called him ‘near the end of the trial’ and asked him to testify on his behalf again, as he had done in 1993,” Smallcombe said.

“Safechuck said he refused, and that Jackson then ‘got really angry’ and threatened him. He repeated this claim under oath, in his ongoing lawsuit against the Jackson Estate.

“However, it simply can’t be true. Very early on in the trial, the judge ruled that he would allow the jury to hear about five boys whom the prosecution claimed were sexually abused by Jackson.

“They were Jordan Chandler, Brett Barnes, Jason Francia, Macaulay Culkin and Brett Barnes. The judge ruled specifically, that ‘evidence as to Jimmy Safechuck will not be permitted’. Those were the judge’s exact words.

“The judge came to this decision because nobody had ever claimed they had seen Safechuck being abused.

“So Jackson could not have asked him to testify, and certainly not near the end of the trial, when the judge had ruled months earlier that Safechuck could not be called as a witness.”

Smallcombe also noted the documentary all but ignores Safechuck’s lawsuits against the Jackson estate for hundreds of millions of dollars, which were dismissed and are currently under appeal.

This is also the case for the documentary's other main accuser, Wade Robson.

The lawsuit is mentioned fleetingly and director Dan Reed said they both, “have no financial interest in the documentary whatsoever”.

But Smallcombe claims both are in debt to Jackson’s Estate by significant sums, after their lawsuits were thrown out.

He added that Safechuck first told a psychiatrist about the abuse six days after the Safechuck family business was sued for substantial sums of money.

“Robson owes the Estate almost $70,000 dollars in court costs, and Safechuck owes the Estate several thousand dollars as well,” Smallcombe said.

"Safechuck, by his own admission, said he did not “realize” that he had been abused until he saw Robson being interviewed on television in May 16, 2013 about his claim of abuse.

"Just two days before this Robson interview, an action to sue the Safechuck family business for hundreds of thousands of dollars was served.

“On May 20, 2013, six days after the action to sue was served and four days after Robson’s TV interview, Safechuck said he met with a psychiatrist and discussed his alleged abuse by Jackson for the first time.

“Read into that what you will. But both Robson and Safechuck should have been questioned about their motives for trying to get hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from the Estate.

"These things should have been put to them in the documentary, or by journalists in their television interviews.

"We still need to challenge, especially when there are credibility issues."

Source: Mirror / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Staying In The Rock & Roll HOF Despite 'Leaving Neverland'. 21-03-'19

Michael Jackson might be getting muted on various platforms in the wake of 'Leaving Neverland' but the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ain't gonna be one of them.

MJ's two slots in the HOF will stay put and won't be removed or altered in any way ... despite the allegations made in HBO's doc about the singer. The reason is simple according to an HOF official -- music is music.

HOF honchos say Jackson, as with all of its inductees, was recognized for musical excellence and talent, along with having a lasting impact on rock 'n' roll. In other words, MJ changed music, like, forever.

What's more ... Michael was voted into the Hall (twice) by a voting body of historians, fellow musicians, and music industry professionals. He got in with the Jackson 5 in 1997, and again as a solo artist in 2001, when 'NSYNC inducted him.

Rock & Roll Hall Of FameThe Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame features 5 of Michael’s famous costumes, including his 'Billie Jean' outfit from the Dangerous tour (complete with white socks and worn-out shoes!), the torn zombie jacket from 'Thriller' short film, and the blue-gold sequined jacket from the famous 1984 Grammy Awards. There is no protection glass in front of the costumes, so you can see them up close and personal.

As for whether his HOF exhibit might be changed at all -- possibly even removing memorabilia -- our HOF sources say it all stays the same.

It's interesting ... a children's museum in Indianapolis recently removed three pieces of MJ memorabilia items in the wake of Wade Robson and James Safechuck's claims.

Not in Cleveland, though. Once a HOFer, always a HOFer ... or so it seems.

In fact, Michael could come up again at this year's HOF induction. Janet Jackson's going into the Hall and there's a lot of speculation about whether she'll mention her brother and the 'Neverland' allegations. It's going down March 29 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Fate Of Michael Jackson's Wax Statues At Madame Tussauds REVEALED After Netflix Doc. 21-03-'19

MJ Wax Statue LondonThe novelty museum chain — which has branches in London and Blackpool as well as 22 others around the world — has said the lifesize figures won't be going anywhere for now.

Wax statues of Jackson are currently found in branches of the museum in London, Blackpool, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Sydney.

It comes after Netflix documentary 'Leaving Neverland' sparked fresh public interest into historic sex crime allegations against the King of Pop.

The film focuses on the accusations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were abused at Jackson's Neverland Ranch home when they were children.

Despite the controversy, Madame Tussauds, which opened its first wax museum in London in 1835, said it would keep the statues.

A spokesman for Madame Tussauds told TMZ: "The figures on display at Madame Tussauds reflect profiles that have had an impact on popular culture and that visitors expect to see.

"Michael Jackson has been and is currently a feature of Madame Tussauds attractions around the world."

The spokesman added: "We regularly monitor our choice of figures on display based on external events and visitor feedback."

And he said the statues would be "kept on display for the foreseeable future".

Source: Mirror / Billie Jean

German Museum Head Defends Jackson Exhibition Amid Abuse Claims. 20-03-'19

On The Wall ExhibitionThe Head of a German art museum has defended upcoming exhibition on Michael Jackson amid child sexual abuse allegations against the deceased U.S. pop superstar.

“Especially now, when new abuse accusations have come to light, it’s important to reassess the ‘King of Pop,’” Rein Wolfs, Director at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, said on Wednesday.

Wolfs said that rather than being a homage, the exhibition showed Jackson from varying, “even critical, angles’’.

“I believe it’s better to have a platform that enables discussion rather than simply to extinguish a cultural memory,” Wolfs said. The show, entitled 'Jackson: On The Wall', was developed by the National Portrait Gallery in London and produced in cooperation with the Jackson Estate. Open in Bonn on Friday (March 22), the event features depictions of Jackson by prominent artists, including David LaChapelle and Yan Pei Ming, and has already been put on in London and Paris. The accusations come from 'Leaving Neverland', a film in which two men – 40-year-old James Safechuck and 36-year-old Wade Robson – tell of how they were abused as children by the singer, who died in 2009.

The film has stirred discussion about how fans of Jackson should relate to his music, given the severity of the allegations. In spite of the involvement of Jackson Estate in the exhibition, Wolfs said the museum would not shy away from questions about abuse allegations. “An art expert will always be around, who can speak to visitors about the accusations,” 59-year-old Wolfs said. There will also be a statement at the beginning of the exhibition regarding 'Leaving Neverland', reading: “The accusations made by the alleged victims are shocking. “We see it as our responsibility not to ignore this issue.’’

We are hoping that Bonn will learn from Paris mistakes and also that the 'Leaving Neverland' TV show will not affect the influx of visitors.

Source: Vanguard / Billie Jean

Jackson's Bodyguard Matt Fiddes Claims 'Leaving Neverland' Doc Left Out Key Details. 20-03-'19

Matt FiddesMichael Jackson 's former personal bodyguard has hit out at the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary for leaving out key details.

According to Matt Fiddes , who worked alongside Jackson for ten years until his death, producers of the four-hour film left out claims that accusers Wade Robson and James Safeschuck are suing the singer's estate.

Since the documentary aired the Jackson estate has also launched a lawsuit against the broadcasters, with recent reports suggesting his children may consider legal action against Robson and Safeschuck.

Fiddes, 40, who became a millionaire after building a global fitness empire, also called the sexual abuse allegations against his former employer as 'nonsense'.

Speaking during an appearance on BBC Wiltshire radio on Tuesday evening (March 19), Fiddes said the Jackson family were handling the fall out of the explosive documentary well.

"Lately it's been everywhere. No one was expecting this year to be anything other that a celebration of his dance and his music, it's 10 years since his passing.

"I step back and watch what's going on. Obviously the estate have launched a lawsuit against the broadcasters, and the guys in the programme are suing the estate.

"That was missed out of the programme and that was the most upsetting part for those who knew Michael as a person."

Fiddes explained how important Michael was to him, having spoken to him just a couple of days before his death in 2009, adding that he doesn't have any problems talking about the singer.

"We've had [to deal with such claims] since I met him, this is not something new that myself either the family or myself have had to put up with. It's been ongoing nonsense.

"They're [the Jackson family are] handling it ok. It's down to the estate now to do what they need to do.

"When the time comes I will have my say on the whole thing."

Robson and Safechuck alleged in the documentary that Jackson had abused them from the ages of ten and seven respectively, after they had been befriended by the King of Pop.

The Jackson family have hit back at the allegations and have compared the hounding of Michael to a 'public lynching', especially as the late singer is unable to defend himself in person.

They point to the fact that Jackson was acquitted in 2005, when an investigation into child sex abuse went to trial, after a surprise raid on the Neverland Ranch.

In the documentary, Robson and Safechuck alleged that Jackson told them to stay quiet about the abuse and 'brainwashed' them into speaking up for Jackson.

They have now said, in the documentary, that they had lied to the court and that was one of the reasons why they wanted to tell their story and unveil what life was like at Neverland.

Source: Mirror / Billie Jean

'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5' And 'ABC' CD Albums Are Re-Released. 20-03-'19

The Jackson 5’s 'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5' and 'ABC' CD albums are re-released in Japan in Limited Low-priced Edition.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the prestigious record label Motown Records, Universal Music has decided to release some of the most famous albums and other best-sellers of the renowned label.

Note that a Motown 60 compilation will also be released on the same date. It will be composed of 3 CD's containing the best of the Motown with among others, 'I Want You Back' by Jackson 5 and 'I Want to Be Where You Are' by Michael Jackson.

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 CD Album CoverDiana Ross Presents The Jackson 5

The album 'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5' was for the first time released on December 18th, 1969 in the USA by Motown and in the United Kingdom wasn't released until March 1970 by Tamla Motown.

Track list:

1. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah - 3:15
2. Nobody - 2:42
3. I Want You Back - 2:58
4. Can You Remember - 2:57
5. Standing In The Shadows Of Love - 4:05
6. You've Changed - 3:05
7. My Cherie Amour - 3:39
8. Who's Lovin' You - 3:57
9. Chained - 2:50
10. (I Know) I'm Losing You - 2:13
11. Stand - 2:34
12. Born To Love You - 2:26

Record label: Motown/Universal
Series number: UICY-78882
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 7 €

Order the 'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5' CD album here at CD Japan.

ABC CD Album CoverABC

The album 'ABC' was for the first time released on May 8th, 1970 in the USA by Motown and in the United Kingdom in August 1970 by Tamla Motown.

Track list:

1. The Love You Save - 3:01
2. One More Chance - 2:59
3. ABC - 2:57
4. 2-4-6-8 - 2:57
5. (Come 'Round Here) I'm The One You Need - 2:43
6. Don't Know Why I Love You - 3:49
7. Never Had A Dream Come True - 3:00
8. True Love Can Be Beautiful - 3:27
9. La-La Means I Love You - 3:30
10. I'll Bet You - 3:18
11. I Found That Girl - 3:00
12. The Young Folks - 2:49

Record label: Motown/Universal
Series number: UICY-78883
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 7 €

Order the 'ABC' CD album here at CD Japan.

Source: CD Japan / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson’s Longtime Songwriter, Producer Says Star's 'Legacy Is Safe' Amid Sexual Assault Allegations. 19-03-'19

Thomas Bähler
Thomas Bähler

A producer who worked with Michael Jackson for more than three decades believes the pop singer's legacy should live on despite the aftermath of HBO’s wincing two-part documentary 'Leaving Neverland', which delved into allegations from two men who claimed they were sexually abused by Jackson as children.

The pop superstar’s longtime music composer, arranger and producer Thomas Bähler opened up to Fox News about coming to grasps with the accusations against his friend, who died unexpectedly in 2009.

“Michael’s legacy is safe, I believe it will endure because his music and philosophy is so strong,” said Bähler, 75, who worked with Jackson for some 33 years — from childhood into his adult legendary status. “Think about 'We Are The World', ‘Heal The World', ‘Earth Song', ‘Lost Children'. These songs are timeless, in regard to how they reflect his love and concern for humanity," he added.

Bähler said he believes it's important to separate the man from the music.

“He wrote about gangs, people that were isolated from society, that’s what ‘Beat It’ and ‘Bad’ were all about. In a way, it was an expression of having to earn your place and reflective of growing up in a large patriarchal family,” said Bähler, who has also collaborated with the likes of Elvis Presley, Cher, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand and Billy Joel.

“The first thing I felt from him was altruism, then his genius. He went to hospitals, sang for patients, and paid for operations for people he didn’t even know.”

As an extremely iconic yet complicated public figure, the fallout from the explosive HBO documentary has been mixed.

On a low note, since 'Leaving Neverland' aired, 'The Simpsons' removed a hit 1991 episode featuring Jackson and a number of radio stations in New Zealand and Canada announced they would no longer be playing Jackson’s music. Furthermore, a string of other DJ’s have come out with declarations that they would remove his tunes from their rotation, rapper Drake is said to have quietly dropped a Jackson song from his set list and the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer including 'Beat It' in the in-game entertainment list.

On the other side of the spectrum, Jackson supporters and his estate – who have vehemently denied any wrongdoing – have come out in droves to denounce the film, even buying “Michael Jackson Innocent” ads to blast across London buses, although they were removed days later.

But as audiences worldwide grapple with the question of whether or not it is appropriate to still listen to Jackson’s tunes in the face of such claims against him, for Bähler, who first encountered Jackson as an unassuming 13-year-old warming up his voice by singing 'Climb Every Mountain' in the back of a Los Angeles recording studio, no allegation can erase decades of creative virtuosity and evolution.

“When I first talked to him, he was a shy kid but had the awareness of an 80-year-old. There was loneliness that seemed unquenchable in him, that I believe eventually came out in his artistry,” Bähler said. “He started out as a bubblegum singer who went on to create songs that revealed deep emotion, his love for humanity and how the injustices in the world disturbed him.”

Most notably, Jackson went on to record 'She’s Out Of My Life' in 1979, which had been written by Bahler more than a year-and-a-half earlier. It became the first song recorded by Jackson after teaming up with legendary producer Quincy Jones.

“The last ballad Michael had recorded had been about a rat,” Bahler recalled, referring to the 1972 film 'Ben' about a boy and his pet rat, of which Jackson had performed the theme song. 'She’s Out Of My Life’ was a turning point. 'This song gives him adult emotions,' Quincy said. Up until that point, his music was mostly dance, bubblegum or puppy love.”

Source: Fox News / Billie Jean

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