First trailer released for Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland
The first trailer for controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland has been released.
The film – set to air on Channel 4 in the UK – features interviews with two alleged victims of the late pop superstar and has been met with an angry reaction from the Jackson estate.
James Safechuck and Wade Robson alleged Jackson abused them as children.
The trailer for the documentary was relaesed on Tuesday and features snippets of an interview with Robson who says: “He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail.”
Describing his experiences on Neverland Ranch, the sprawling estate Jackson made his home from 1988 to 2003, Robson says: “I was seven years old. Michael asked, ‘Do you and the family want to come to Neverland?'”
“The days were filled with magical childhood adventure experiences. Playing tag, watching movies, eating junk food: Anything you could ever want as a child.”
HBO and Channel 4 co-produced the two-part, four-hour film, which received a standing ovation when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The Jackson estate dismissed it as “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in” on the pop star’s legacy.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the estate sent a letter to Channel 4 warning that the film violates the network’s programming guidelines, an allegation the channel denies.
Director Dan Reed defended the film as “not a movie about Michael Jackson”.
Speaking to Variety, he said: “It’s a movie about two families and how two families came to terms with what their sons revealed to them many years after Jackson died.”
Jackson died aged 50 in 2009. He was acquitted of molesting a 13-year-old boy following a high-profile trial in 2005.
Leaving Neverland is due to air on Channel 4 on March 6 and March 7.