Irish journalist recalls time he asked Michael Jackson accuser if he needed rescuing

It happened during the singer’s visit to Cork in 1988 as part of the 'Bad' tour

Journalist Sam Smyth has recalled the time he stayed in the same hotel as Michael Jackson and how he had concerns for a child that was with him.

Penning an article in the Irish Mail on Sunday last week, Smyth remembered covering the King of Pop’s visit to Cork as part of the ‘Bad’ tour in 1988.

Revealing that the child who accompanied Jackson to Cork was James Safechuck, one of the men who has accused Jackson of abusing him in new documentary Leaving Neverland, Smyth remembers feeling like something wasn’t right about their relationship.

“I remember thinking at the time… it’s very odd for a man in his 30th year to have his very best friend as this boy called Little Jimmy Safechuck who was 10,” he said, speaking on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 show yesterday (March 7).

Explaining that he was staying at Jackson’s hotel, where Safechuck was also staying, as he was covering the ‘Bad’ tour, Smyth added: “The whole thing was odd, and deeply suspicious. Certainly not anything that I would ever want for anyone belonging to me.”

Going on to describe how Safechuck had his own room at Jury’s Hotel, but that it had a ‘do not disturb’ sign constantly on display as well as sheeting on the windows to block out views, while those facts might not have aroused any suspicion, Smyth said “the whole thing was adding to something very bizarre.”

Smyth then recalls that after learning Safechuck would not be attending Jackson’s concert in Pairc Uí Chaoimh and would be staying in his room all night, he, along with Eamon Dunphy, wrote the boy a letter in an attempt to see if he was okay.

Using hotel stationery, Smyth says he wrote: “Dear Little Jimmy Safechuck, we are in the residents’ lounge… and if you are being held against your will or if you need rescuing contact us’.”

Then handing the note to the hotel porter with instructions to put it under Safechuck’s door, along with a “handsome tip,” they never heard from the child.

With regards to the Leaving Neverland documentary and the sexual abuse allegations made against Michael Jackson, Smyth’s own opinion is that he believes them.

“I’m quite convinced that they are telling the truth,” he said. “I think most people would be… I think the film is very credible and very skillfully made.”