Michael Jackson estate denounce upcoming Sundance documentary about alleged sexual abuse

Two alleged victims of the singer were interviewed for the documentary

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 10 January 2019 09:37 GMT
The documentary addresses allegations of child sex abuse by Michael Jackson
The documentary addresses allegations of child sex abuse by Michael Jackson (Getty)

Michael Jackson's estate has criticised an upcoming documentary alleging the late singer was a child sex abuser.

Leaving Neverland, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, features interviews with two alleged victims of Jackson.

The men were aged seven and 10 when Jackson allegedly began long-running relationships with them and their families.

Now in their thirties, both men claim they were sexually abused by the musician.

Representatives for Jackson's estate have issued a statement, saying: "This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson."

The title of the documentary, directed by Bafta-winner Dan Reed, references the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, where Jackson lived from 1988 to 2003.

Police raided the property in 2003 while investigating allegations Jackson had molested a 13-year-old boy. Jackson, one of the most influential and best-selling artists of all-time, was acquitted of all charges in 2005 following a high-profile trial.

Leaving Neverland's synopsis reads: "Through gut-wrenching interviews with the now-adult men and their families, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to infiltrate the lives of starstruck children and their parents."

Jackson died in 2009 aged 50 following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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