Jackson estate slams as 'pathetic' new abuse claims

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US pop star Michael Jackson gestures during a news conference at the O2 Arena in London, in this file photo. — Reuters

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate condemned on Thursday an upcoming documentary about alleged child sexual abuse by the late singer as another “outrageous and pathetic attempt” to cash in on his fame.

The documentary “Leaving Neverland” will be screened at the Sundance independent film festival later this month and will be shown on cable channel HBO and Britain’s Channel 4 television network this spring, festival organizers and HBO said.

It features interviews with two men, now in their 30s, who say they were befriended by the singer and sexually abused by him when they were young boys, according to the filmmakers.

The “Thriller” singer, who died in 2009, was acquitted at a 2005 criminal trial in California on charges of molesting a different, 13 year-old boy, at his Neverland ranch.

The documentary focuses on the experiences of Wade Robson and James Safechuck. According to an annual Forbes survey, Jackson has been the top earning dead celebrity for the past six years.— Reuters


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