Following in the footsteps of Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime's newest documentary series exploring the allegations of sexual abuse against the artist, HBO announced that it will air Leaving Neverland, a documentary about Michael Jackson, this spring. The two-part series features the stories of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by Jackson after they met him at the ages of seven and ten, respectively.
"If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to," director Dan Reed said in a statement, per HBO. "It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets."
However, Jackson's estate has slammed the upcoming doc as "yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson," according to a statement provided to Entertainment Tonight.
"Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them," the statement continues. "Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception,' filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed. This so-called ‘documentary’ is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project."
Leaving Neverland will debut at Sundance this January. It will air on HBO and the U.K.'s Channel 4 in the spring.