Michael Jackson’s family has slammed the four-hour Sundance documentary Leaving Neverland and branded it a “public lynching”.
Dan Reed’s film premiered in Park City last week and features two men who detail what they allege to have been abuse by the late performer when they were children 20 years ago.
HBO and Channel 4 will air Leaving Neverland in the US and UK later this year. Reed, a veteran documentary filmmaker, has said in interviews that he was confident in the truth of the men’s claims.
The statement appears below in full:
”Michael Jackson is our brother and son. We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity. We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.
“People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique. But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There has never been one piece of proof of anything. Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.
“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family – that is the Jackson way. But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.
“The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories.
But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.
“The Jackson Family”.