“Leaving Neverland” Offers Definitive Answer On Michael Jackson’s Illicit Conduct Says Louis Theroux
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, who has investigated serial sex abuser Jimmy Savile, says Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland provides compelling evidence of the late pop singer’s illicit conduct with children.
Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland has split opinion about the authenticity of the allegations put forward by Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Both men, former childhood friends of Michael Jackson, claim he sexually abused them over a number of years. But at face value, for many, their stories provide unsettling detail that compels us to believe them..
And now acclaimed documentary maker Louis Theroux, who produced his own film about Michael Jackson in 2003 in which he interviewed the pop singer’s close friends as well as his father, said he believes Reed’s intimate two-part, four-hour portrait of calculated, systematic paedophilia is clear indication of Jackson’s guilt.
In a Twitter post, Theroux, who interviewed Jackson’s father Joe in 2003 in which he confessed to often whipping Michael but eventually stormed out of the interview after the journalist started questioning his son’s sexual orientation, said, “If you can’t see that Michael Jackson was a paedophile after watching [Dan Reed’s] film you are being wilfully blind.”
Addressing those who have attacked the accusers’ stories and the film’s motives, Theroux said, “If you are campaigning against [Leaving Neverland] you are actively colluding in the silencing of victims.”
Reed’s film weaves a narrative that leaves you believing in Jackson’s guilt. Of that, there is not doubt. The accusers tell their stories in detail and separately share common ground that adds further weight to their allegations. In addition, the artist’s actions, as corroborated by family members, suggests a long and sustained attempt to win the trust of the children’s parents to such a degree the victims’ families’ wealth was connected to whether or not Jackson got his own way.
But Theroux’s reaction to the film has weight given his work to address rape and systematic paedophilia in the entertainment business. In his “When Louis Met…” documentaries he spent a week with various people including offbeat fundraiser and disc jockey Jimmy Savile.
The hour-long documentary with Savile saw Theroux shadow the former coal miner from Leeds on various professional and personal outings. Much of the more intimate discussions took place at one of Savile’s various homes. At the time, there were only rumours about Savile’s predatory sexual activity. Many of his victims had been silenced by fear, believing no one would take them seriously given the TV personality’s reputation as a tireless charity worker.
Before his death he was known as an eccentric DJ, television and radio personality, erstwhile dance hall manager, and serial charity fundraiser. After his death it was alleged he’d committed hundreds of instances of sexual abuse over a period of more than 50 years. It is now widely accepted that allegations against Savile were true.
As Alex Bojalad says in his review on Den of Geek, Leaving Neverland “can’t definitively lay claim to THE truth about Michael Jackson’s sexual assault and child rape allegations” but it presents “James Safechuck and Wade Robson’s respective truths and it does so sensitively, fairly, and believably enough that it seems that theirs may be the best truth we ever get.”
Theroux’s acceptance of their stories adds further weight to Leaving Neverland’s credibility and is another damaging kick to the once idolised legacy of the “king of pop”.