UK journalist and author Mike Smallcombe penned Making Michael: Inside the Career of Michael Jackson back in 2016, so he knows a fair bit about the singer.
He’s also paid close attention to the allegations made in Leaving Neverland, which focuses on the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and has spotted what he calls a ‘major flaw’ in Safechuck’s story.
Director Dan Reed has since waded into the debate, admitting some factual errors but denying that the information is damning.
Below from NewsAU:
In the doco, accuser James Safechuck claims he was abused from 1988 until 1992 and was molested in a room within the Neverland station.
Yesterday, Smallcombe tweeted out Santa Barbara County construction permits showing approval for the building of the structure happened in September 1993 [below].
In response to Smallcombe’s revelations, Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed tweeted: “Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse.”
However, Safechuck has repeatedly claimed, in the documentary as well as in court documents and interviews, that the alleged sex abuse stopped in 1992 when he was aged 14.
In further tweets, Reed said that there had been “No u-turn. No clash of dates. James was present at Neverland before and after the train station was built. In fact he took photos of the completed station which we included in the doc. And his sexual contact with Michael lasted into his teens. That’s all in the film.”
In another tweet, he wrote that “Safechuck was at Neverland after the train station was completed. He even took photos of the station, we put two of these in the film. And he’s clear in the documentary that the sexual contact with Jackson continued into his teens…”
Michael Jackson’s defenders, and those seeking to undermine the allegations made in Leaving Neverland, have seized on the discrepancy, with many saying that the incorrect dates invalidate the entire documentary.
Do they also invalidate the litany of other allegations made over an almost two-decade period? His former cleaner, and former chef, and former housekeeper, and the other young boys with whom he settled out of court?
As usual, I guess that depends on whether you’re an MJ fan or not.
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