Jermaine Jackson broke down in tears on U.K. TV while defending his late brother Michael against child sexual abuse allegations.
British filmmaker Dan Reed’s four-hour expose Leaving Neverland, which features interviews with two men who claim Michael abused them as children, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last Friday (25Jan19).
The Jackson family have denounced the movie and a weeping Jermaine appeared on breakfast show Good Morning Britain on Wednesday (30Jan19) to defend his brother’s memory.
In the interview, the 64-year-old slammed one of the men, dancer and choreographer Wade Robson, who unsuccessfully sued Michael’s estate claiming he was abused – despite denying he was molested during a 2005 trial that acquitted the popstar of abusing 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.
“Wade has changed his story that he maintained before and after Michael’s death,” the music legend’s elder sibling said. “He tried to go out and shop a book deal, no publisher would touch it. He even sued the estate for $1.5 billion, it was tossed out of court… the only thing left for him to do was to do a documentary, so he gets in front of a camera with a bunch of people and spews out all these nonsense statements.”
The King of Pop, who died aged 50 in 2009, first faced child sexual abuse allegations in 1993, settling a civil lawsuit brought by the parents of teenager Jordy Chandler for $22 million (£16.8 million). He was later investigated and charged with abusing Gavin after confessing to hosting sleepovers with children at his Neverland ranch in a 2003 TV documentary – but was acquitted at the 2005 trial.
The Jacksons star insisted his brother only had innocent intentions towards children, adding: “Those were slumber parties, what they didn’t tell you was that there were girls there even with their parents, uncles, they were sitting down watching movies, having cookies, having fun, popcorn, watching films. Michael said, ‘Why do people relate the bed to sex?’ – which shows his innocence, Michael’s a big kid.”
In Leaving Neverland, Wade and fellow accuser James Safechuck claim Michael befriended them as kids and then abused them at the ranch and in hotel rooms.
Jermaine also said the family would leave legal action over the documentary to those in charge of Michael’s estate and asked people to leave his brother and his family alone as they are still mourning their father Joe, who passed away last year.