The Backstory

My daughter June first discovered Michael Jackson while in a phase of exploring 80s music. She quickly became an avid MJ fan: immersing herself in his music, watching his performances, and learning about his life. June connected deeply to Jackson’s message of love, positivity, and giving. Michael Jackson became part of her identity.

So when Leaving Neverland aired on HBO in early in 2019, it hit our household hard. The documentary features two men accusing Michael Jackson of sex abuse when they were kids. Neither my husband nor I were Jackson fans, so when we read and heard all the TV reviews about how the allegations were credible, we both presumed he was guilty. I spoke to my daughter about taking the accusations seriously, even when the accused is your hero. But we also talked about the importance of due process, and I promised her I would take a fair and thorough look at the evidence.

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That promise is what led to this podcast. After months of research, I was astonished to find that the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Jackson’s innocence. When I fact-checked the accusers' stories in their lawsuits and in Leaving Neverland, I found provable falsehoods, irreconcilable contradictions, and many claims that straight up just didn't make sense. We're not just talking about a few wrong dates here--this was line by line credibility issues.

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I couldn’t believe how the media got it all wrong. Many journalists and public figures immediately announced their belief in these accusations without checking the accuracy of the film. No one seemed to understand the evidence that needed to be considered before weighing in on Jackson’s guilt.

June decided she wanted to do something to educate people about the case for Jackson’s innocence, and we came up with the idea of a podcast. The aim of the podcast is to present fully sourced evidence behind the Michael Jackson allegations, and we make the case that the evidence supports Jackson’s innocence.

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What You'll Hear

Season 1

The purpose of the first season is to lay out the four sex abuse cases against Michael Jackson: The Chandler Allegations, The Arvizo Allegations, The Robson Allegations, and The Safechuck Allegations.

We also review the Leaving Neverland documentary and explore how deception science plays a role in  these allegations.

 

The emphasis in these episodes is to show how the narratives in each case are undermined by the accusers’ own words, often under oath in their legal claims. We argue that the accusers’ repeated patterns of deceit means we can’t trust their stories.

Season 2

In the second season of the podcast, we turn to the personal side of Michael Jackson. Although the first season puts forward the evidence that discredits the sex abuse allegations, the podcast still needs to present a credible, innocent explanation for Jackson’s close relationships with kids. What do you need to know about his life to understand his unique lifestyle and  relationships with children?

We’ll take a look at Jackson's family background and share the stories of his friends, collaborators, and family members. We’ll show how their descriptions of consistent traits and behaviors in Michael Jackson offer exculpatory testimony.

 

 Season 2 concludes with a summary episode, where we use all of the information presented in the podcast to make our case for the complete innocence of Michael Jackson.

 June's Voice in the Podcast

When I first started recording the narration for this podcast, it was just myself and a voice actor. June was only 12 when we first decided to do the podcast, and I thought she was too young to be in these episodes with such sensitive topics. But by the time we were getting close to releasing the podcast, June was nearing age 15, and at a completely different level of maturity. She wanted to help carry the weight of the narration, so we re-recorded the episodes with her involvement. (Although the introductory episode still largely features her 12 and 13 year old voice.) I’ve had a lot of serious discussions about the nature of these allegations with June, and the evidence involved in discrediting these particular claims, and I observed her handling it all very thoughtfully. I saw that she was mature enough to handle presenting some of the non-sensitive narration for these episodes. What reinforced my decision to use her voice were the many test listeners for this podcast prior to releasing it, who thought her voice was used appropriately and strengthened the podcast.