"You're stomping on a legend's grave"
Leaving Neverland focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
Now singer Carter, who was friends with Jackson when he was in his teens, has told TMZ of how he “really idolised” the ‘Thriller’ star and questions the motives of Robson and Safechuck in coming out with their accusations now, rather than around the time of previous criminal charges in 2005.
“Why not do it when he was alive?” said Carter. “Why not do it when he was being accused of all of these molestation charges. Why not do it then and actually indict a perpetrator?”
He continued: “You’re a grown man, and when Michael Jackson was alive, you are backing him, you are up his ass, you are kissing his ass, you are there to testify for him under oath, and then when he dies, you decide that’s a good time to come out?
“No, what you’re doing is, you’re actually stomping on an icon and a legend’s grave – you’re stomping his grave.”
Indicted for four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, one count of conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive, and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction, Jackson pleaded not guilty to all counts in the Arvizo case.
Lasting 18 months, the trial ended on June 13, 2005, when the jury delivered a verdict of not guilty on all charges, including four lesser misdemeanour counts.
Carter also responded to a Tweet from an account posing as Robson, suggesting that he too had been a victim of Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse. Robson’s lawyer has since said that the account was fake and and just one of ‘several fraudulent postings and hackings’ in the wake of the documentary.
“He’s trying to tie my name into this shit?,” said Carter of the Tweet. “I’m not that guy. I’m not the one. You lucky I got something to lose now, because I would punch you in your face – I would. And then maybe I’d ask you, ‘Are you telling the truth?’ but I’d punch you in your face first.”
Speaking of his own experiences with Jackson, Carter added: “I remember having the time of my life with Michael, I was about 15-years-old. I hung out with Michael Jackson, I stayed at his house, I stayed in his bedroom … it’s hard for me to understand that – how am I supposed to understand that when my own personal experience with him was gentle and beautiful and loving and embracing.”
The two-part film divided opinion when it premiered in the UK last week, with fans taking to the streets of London to protest it being broadcast while radio stations around the world have since banned Jackson’s songs. Controversial adverts have also appeared on London buses in defence of Jackson, and there has also been a surge for his music in the charts since the film aired.
Today, Jackson’s niece Brandi claimed that the accusers were “liars” and “motivated by money”. This comes after Juice WRLD defended the ‘Thriller’ star urging people to “let the legend rest“, while Louis Theroux said that anyone still defending Jackson was being “wilfully blind“.
Last week, Jackson’s nephew Taj confirmed to NME that he was working on a counter-documentary to dispute the claims made in Leaving Neverland.
Jackson denied any wrongdoing before he died in 2009.