Wade Robson & James Safechuck Spoke Out About Abuse At The Hands Of Michael Jackson — & Here Are Their Stories

Photo: Aaron Lambert/AFP/Getty Images.
The controversial Michael Jackson documentary series Leaving Neverland premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival. In the series, two adult men allege they were the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Jackson when they were children.
The subjects of the two-part series are Wade Robson and James Safechuck. When the late screenwriter and dentist Evan Chandler accused Jackson of sexually abusing his son Jordan “Jordy” Chandler in 1993, according to the Telegraph, both Robson and Safechuck took the stand to defend the musician. But in more recent years, both men have alleged they were also abused by Jackson and sued Jackson’s companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, in 2014. Their cases were both dismissed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Robson, 36, grew up in Australia idolizing Jackson and mimicking his iconic dance moves. Robson met Jackson after winning a dance competition hosted by the musician’s MJJ Productions in 1987, and Robson’s family kept in contact with Jackson over the years. In court documents obtained by the L.A. Times, Robson says he was later invited to stay at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, where the alleged “sexual activities” began. According to Robson, this abuse continued for seven years and became “less frequent” when he began puberty at 13.
Robson said he didn’t think he had been sexually abused until going to psychotherapy as an adult, which is why he testified a second time on Jackson’s behalf in his 2005 trial, where the singer faced child molestation charges. Robson, then 23 and working as a choreographer for artists like Britney Spears and NSYNC, swore under oath that he had never been molested by Jackson, saying, “I can tell you right now that if he had, I wouldn’t be here right now.” Jackson was later acquitted on all counts.
Safechuck, who is now 40, was a 10-year-old child actor in California when he was cast in a Pepsi ad starring Jackson. After production on the commercial wrapped, Safechuck alleges Jackson wrote him a letter . According to Safechuck, Jackson later invited him and his family to his home in Encino.
Safechuck received several lavish vacations and gifts from Jackson and in 1988, he and his mother joined Jackson on tour where the first alleged sexual encounter occurred. Safechuck claims Jackson showed him how to masturbate and that “hundreds” of other sexual acts followed until 1992 when, like Robson, he hit puberty. Safechuck refused to testify in Jackson’s 2005 trial and says the musician “got angry and threatened him” in response.
Today, Robson still works as a choreographer and Safechuck is now a computer programmer. They are both married with children of their own, which was a major factor in why Robson says he decided to share his story in the documentary.
Jackson died from an overdose of prescription drugs in June 2009. According to the Associated Press, his estate has denounced Leaving Neverland, calling it “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.”
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