Mike Tyson has said that he would not not let his child hang out with Michael Jackson, while simultaneously adding that it’s “wrong” for the late singer’s accusers to come forward now with claims that he sexually abused them.
The former boxer, 52, spoke to the I Am Rapaport podcast on Monday (March 11) about the fallout from Leaving Neverland, the documentary that hears Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, allege that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
- Read: “More victims will come out” – Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed on Michael Jackson’s toxic legacy
Tyson, who was good friends with Jackson, said: “I have an eight-year-old kid – I wouldn’t let Michael hang out with my kid. I wouldn’t let my kid go over Michael’s house. I love Michael. You know what I mean?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Tyson said he understood how his own conviction for rape in 1992 meant that some parents wouldn’t let their children spend time with him.
“It’s like some people say, ‘Well listen, you’re Mike Tyson. I wouldn’t let my daughter around you cause you’ve been to prison for rape.’
“I respect that, I understand that. It’s fucked, but I understand that because I would think the same thing.”
Tyson also said that while what Jackson’s alleged victims claim they went through was “horrible”, it was wrong for them to now speak out against late star. He believes that it makes them appear as money-grabbers.
“What you’re doing now is even wrong,” Tyson said, referencing Robson and Safechuck. “Coming out saying this stuff. It comes across that these are guys just out to get some money”.
Jackson’s family have denied the allegations in Leaving Neverland. The singer denied all allegations levelled at him during his lifetime.
Meanwhile, The Simpsons‘ showrunner Al Jean has claimed that Jackson used his cameo on the show in 1991 for a “false purpose”, alleging that Jackson’s guest appearance was “part of what he used to groom boys”.
The long-running animated sitcom pulled the 1991 episode ‘Stark Raving Dad’, which saw Jackson guest star as the one-off character Leon Kompowsky in a speaking role only, from circulation last week.