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S1: Episode 15. Leaving Neverland Part 1--Twisting Timelines

In this first part of the series on Leaving Neverland, you'll follow the story as it's presented in the documentary, starting with Safechuck and Robson first meeting Jackson in 1987, and continuing through 1992 when they say Jackson was losing interest in them for other boys. Both accusers present narratives in the documentary that contradict their lawsuits, which were ongoing even at the time of filming for Leaving Neverland. There are many credibility issues that are highlighted in this episode, along with deceptive moves by filmmaker Dan Reed, which he appears to employ in order to create a more powerful narrative of grooming.

HBO's Leaving Neverland

Brett Barnes' testimony in 2005

Barnes testifies that Jackson never did anything inappropriate to him, and was a good friend of the whole family. Brett and his family met Jackson on the same Australian portion of the tour that Wade met Jackson, and had a similar experience with getting invited to Neverland. Unlike Robson, Barnes and his family spent many months on tour with Jackson. Leaving Neverland does not present Brett Barnes' almost identical experience, the only difference being that Robson claims abuse.

Billy Ramirez account:

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Billy Ramirez, when he was a kid, met Jackson in Australia during the Bad Tour in 1987, just like Wade and Brett. Ramirez and his family came to Neverland for their first trip to US, and says Jackson was just a nice bloke, and denies anything inappropriate happened. He and his sisters maintained a friendship with Jackson over the years.

More from Billy Ramirez

After Jackson’s death, Ramirez is quoted saying you have to get to know Jackson to understand him, and there’s nothing to the allegations.

James Safechuck’s Second Amended Complaint, filed on September 19, 2016

In his account, Safechuck is the one to first reach out to Jackson by letter, and Jackson responds with one letter. 8 months later, Jackson's assistant calls to invite the Safechuck family to dinner. Several weeks after that on Thanksgiving Day, the Safechucks call to reciprocate the dinner invitation, and several weeks later, Jackson goes over to their house for dinner. This contradicts the Leaving Neverland narrative that Jackson started the relationship by calling from Australia and sending a film crew out.

Bad Tour dates, showing that Jackson was in Australia on Thanksgiving Day in 1987, so he's unable to drive right over to the Safechucks for dinner

Jackson in Australia on Thanksgiving

Clip from Jackson's film crew

Clip from video shot at Safechuck's house, showing Jimmy in front of a Christmas tree full of gifts, contradicting Safechuck and his mother’s statement that the film crew was sent out sometime before that first dinner in early November.

Pepsi convention in Hawaii in mid February 1988

The Michael Jackson Allegations website's explanation of the distortions in how the relationship between Safechuck and Jackson first started

The Vindicating Michael website's analysis of the distortions of the start of the relationship between Safechuck and Jackson, and the edited clip from the mock interview after the Pepsi convention in Hawaii.

Taj jackson interview on the Movie Crypt podcast, defending his Uncle Michael

Some samples of notes Jackson wrote to his nephew Taj Jackson:

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Safechuck was on tour with Jackson for a little over 2 months. This is similar to many other friends of Jackson's, such as the following:

Gotham Chopra and his experience on the Dangerous Tour with Jackson

Jimmy Osmond on the Bad Tour with Jackson

The Cascios on the Dangerous Tour with Jackson

Vindicating Michael website's critique of the Bad Tour timeline distortion

The Leaving Neverland Bad Tour timeline contradicts Safechuck's lawsuit about the abuse starting immediately upon arriving on the tour in Paris. Leaving Neverland has Safechuck and his mother describing a lot of time getting closer and closer to Jackson before Paris, which was impossible.

Bad Tour schedule

The tour dates reveal that Jackson was on tour for most of 1988 and the beginning of 1989, making Safechuck's claim of everyday abuse at Neverland difficult to believe.

Jackson Biographer Michael Smallcombe explains his research that Jackson was in LA recording the Dangerous Album full time starting in the summer of 1989 into 1990

Safechuck’s train station story and stories of abuse in the Indian village and castle don’t match with the dates they were constructed, with photographic evidence

Rob Swinson, Maker of Dreams book about the construction of Neverland Ranch

Swinson says Neverland was a beehive of workers in 1990, with construction vehicles everywhere.

Neverland Ranch Manager Joe Marcus testimony:

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Marcus states that Jackson was in the hospital recovering from surgery in the summer of 1990 when he came up with many of his renovation ideas for Neverland. He said when Jackson first moved in, the ranch had only the main residence, the guesthouse with its four units, the arcade building and the office building with a garage.

In the Jackson Estate's letter to HBO, they detail the deceptiveness shown in Robson and Safechuck's lawsuits.

Comment by former Neverland housekeeper Judy Brisse, who says she saw Safechuck at Neverland with his parents, but not when Jackson was around

Safechuck’s cousin noting his visits to Neverland with James Safechuck where nothing inappropriate happened.

See the Episode Notes section on this episode to read my commentary regarding Safechuck's Neverland movie theater story.

Wade Robson's December 2016 deposition for his lawsuit

Robson states under oath how his sister slept upstairs the second night, because she felt concerned, and he believes the abuse started that second night with his sister there.

Chantal Robson's 2005 testimony

Robson's lawsuit account contradicts his sister's trial testimony from 2005, in which she says she didn't want to impose on Jackson's space the first night, so slept upstairs, but the second night joined Wade and Jackson downstairs, and felt perfectly comfortable around Jackson at all times.

Robson CBS This Morning Interview

Only 2 months after Robson’s deposition, Wade has his interview for Leaving Neverland in February 2017, now telling the story that all was completely innocent at Neverland until his family left. In his interview with CBS This Morning, Robson says nothing happened on the 2 nights prior to his family’s departure, and implies that he and sister are together with Jackson both nights before the family leaves. In the Leaving Neverland version of events, the nights didn’t start changing until a day or two after the family left, and there’s no hint of his sister expressing concern and moving to a different room the second night.

Joy Robson's 2016 deposition for her son's lawsuit

Joy Robson states under oath that her whole family, including her kids went on that trip to the Grand Canyon.

Testimony by Joy and Wade Robson:

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They both state that Wade wasn't at Neverland alone until 1993, which undermines his current Grand Canyon story of being alone with Jackson at Neverland in 1990.

Brillo Pad questioning

BET called out Wade Robson regarding his comment that Jackson's hair felt rough like a Brillo Pad. Jackson had a soft jeri curl at the time.

More responses calling foul on the Brillo pad comment

Here's a clip of a fan who got to touch Jackson's hair, which is in the jeri curl style like it was during the time Robson spent with Jackson, and she remarks on how soft it is

"He's beautiful, his hair is really soft, and his skin is soft, and he's strong when he holds you, he's really strong, and he smells beautifully. I've got him all over my shirt."

Safechuck's Victor Gutierrez influence

Commentary on the similarities between Safechuck's abuse stories and the stories told by Victor Gutierrez in his fictional book allegedly based on Jordan Chandler's diary.

Jackson bought many women rings:

Michael jackson bought Liz Taylor a diamond bracelet

Liza Minelli tells of Michael showing her a ring for his girlfriend

Brooke Shields tells of Michael jackson giving her a ring

James Safechuck wedding scene reshoot

At 11:47 of the following video, you can see that it's a different season, some furniture is different, and the t-shirt is gone.

Wedding Ring Scene filmed later

Dan Reed films wedding ring scene 17 months after the original interviews, using the same Airbnb, the same clothes, chair and positioning to make it look like one seamless scene.

Video explaining the multiple reshoots in Leaving Neverland

Video shows multiple takes of the moms interviews

Video using body language to suggest credbility issues

Taj Jackson shares some notes by his Uncle Michael, to give some context to the notes to the Robson family shared in Leaving Neverland

Picture from LA Gear photo shoot in May 1990, when Wade first met Brandi Jackson

Brandi Jackson on The Kyle and Jackie O Show in 2019

In this interview, after Leaving Neverland was released, Brandi says she had a completely normal physical and emotional romantic relationship with Wade, during the time in which he was allegedly being abused by Jackson. She says what caused them to break up was Wade's cheating on her with multiple women.

Brandi Jackson interview with John Zeigler, where she describes Wade as opportunistic and always focused on being relevant

Another interview with Brandi Jackson on Hollywood Unlocked, where she defends Michael Jackson

In this article, Dan Reed says Joy Robson confirmed that Brandi and Wade were sweethearts, and that she used to drop him off at Brandi's house from about age 12-13.

Wade Robson admits sleeping around in teens

On Robson's blog, he describes being promiscuous in his teens, which is during the time he was in an exclusive relationship with Brandi Jackson, according to her account.

Birthday message to Wade Robson not unique

Video from The Michael Jackson Innocent Project explaining how this birthday message was not unique

Birthday message from Jackson to Wade, filmed about 7 months before Wade's actual birthday. He did many of these messages in a row to others, all at one session.

Jackson's video message to a female friend that's similar in tone to the one that shown in Leaving Neverland to Wade

Brett Barnes letter to HBO

Barnes defends Jackson and asks HBO to remove his name and likeness from Leaving Neverland.

January 30 2019 tweet by Brett Barnes after Leaving Neverland first came out

May 8 2019 tweet by Brett Barnes refuting claims of Leaving Neverland

Recap of some of the problems with Leaving Neverland

Thanks to the following sites for their collection and analysis of the court documents in Robson and Safechuck's cases, which helped guide the research for this episode:

The Michael Jackson Allegations

The Daily Michael

The MJJ Repository

Vindicating Michael

Special thanks to The Michael Jackson Innocent Project for posting the full transcript of Leaving Neverland, and a big thank you to the Swedish fans who created the transcript.

Also thanks to the youtube channel Collative Learning for the videos on reshoots and suspicious editing

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