Filming will start immediately
Michael Jackson‘s nephew has revealed that he will be releasing a new documentary about his pop star uncle.
The documentary will be a response to the recently released Leaving Neverland, which focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
Up until this week, Taj Jackson had kept the details of the new documentary under wraps for fear that his recent media appearances defending Michael Jackson’s legacy might be construed as a form of promotion.
Revealing to NME in an interview this week the details of his Leaving Neverland counter documentary, Taj promised that it won’t be just another documentary celebrating the life and times of the King of Pop.
“There’s loads of those already,” he explained. “This is not going to be a puff piece. It’s not going to be, ‘Oh, let’s show Michael Jackson the humanitarian.’ This is about exposing all the things that have been mustering for 20, 30 years, you know?
“It’s going to start off with the 1993 allegations because I think that’s where everything started,” he continued, referring to the first public sexual abuse accusations made against Michael Jackson by Evan Chandler, the father of 13-year-old Jordan “Jordy” Chandler.
In January 1994, Jackson settled a civil lawsuit with the Chandlers for $23,000,000 and in September of the same year the criminal investigation against Jackson was closed.
“It’s going to talk about the settlement in terms of the civil suit and why he settled,” Taj explained. “At one point he was very against settling and angry and then gave in. So why did he do that? So [the documentary is] going to talk about all of that.”
Asked whether he is going to be fair an unbiased when putting the documentary together, he answered: “I’m gonna go with the facts.”
One criticism that keeps coming up regarding Leaving Neverland is that director Dan Reed didn’t contact any of Jackson’s family or legal team to appear and share their side of the story.
Responding, Reed told NME: “It’s not a platform for the Jackson estate to launch their campaign of counter-information. That’s not what we provide. In this documentary, people make very serious allegations about Michael Jackson. It’s not a piece of showbiz shim-sham.”
Taj says he wants to open up the floor to his uncle’s accusers in his documentary.
“If I can find them then one hundred percent [I would like to interview them],” he said. “Jordy Chandler would be the biggest one for me. But people have already tried to reach out to him, he’s fled somewhere.
“I would be honoured because his father was the one who put him up to [accusing Michael]. He didn’t want to do any of it and originally even said nothing had happened. So I would be willing to do that, and with Gavin too.”
According to Taj, filming of the new documentary will start immediately.
Leaving Neverland divided opinion when it premiered in the UK this week, with fans taking to the streets of London to protest it being broadcast while radio stations around the world have since banned Michael Jackson’s songs. Controversial adverts have also appeared on London buses in defence of Jackson, while there has also been a surge for his music in the charts since the film aired.
Jackson denied any wrongdoing before he died in 2009.