One of the most talked about aspects of Leaving Neverland is the very graphic descriptions of sex abuse by both Robson and Safechuck. It was a shock to hear these accusers spell out the specific sex acts at length on screen. These vivid and compelling details are what led to many viewers believing the allegations were true. In this episode, you'll hear 3 arguments for why Robson and Safechuck's unusually graphic accounts of sex abuse should not be taken as evidence for truthfulness.
Wade Robson's research on child sex abuse
In Wade Robson's deposition, he says he can't remember why he sent himself articles from a website dedicated to Jackson's guilt (p. 74) . He also confirms he was doing a lot of reading about child sexual abuse, such as Victims No Longer, Conversations with a Pedophile and The Courage to Heal--all perfectly logical reading if the allegations are true. If these are false allegations, these are potential resources to help him craft a more realistic abuse narrative for his lawsuit:
Motivated Liars plan their lies down to the last detail:
In the field of deception science, researchers such as Dr. Sharon Leal from the University of Portsmouth, have shown that liars make extensive plans before they lie. Here’s her words:
"Contrary to popular belief, motivated liars do not fidget, avert their gaze or blink nervously. They are usually calm and have planned their lies down to the last detail."
Research by deception expert Sharon Leal
Article featuring Sharon Leal's research
PBS Frontline Documentary, Tabloid Truth, about the media frenzy during the Chandler scandal
Excerpts from Evan Chandler's Phone Call
Transcript from Evan Chandler recorded phone calls with Jordan's stepfather in July 1993
Leaked Grand Jury testimony by Gavin Arvizo
Interview with trial reporter Roger Friedman by Matt Drudge in 2005
Friedman explains how at Jackson's trial, the media would rush out of the courtroom to report on the salacious accounts by former Neverland employees, and completely disregard the cross examination that discredited them. He emphasized the extremely graphic nature of the accounts.
Tom Mesereau on reporters rushing out of the courtroom before the cross examination
Jackson's 2005 trial attorney Tom Mesereau also states in numerous interviews how he saw reporters rushing out of the courtroom to file reports on the salacious stories by prosecution witnesses, and neglecting to stay for the cross examination that discredited these witnesses.
Credibility issues with Ralph Chacon as presented by The Michael Jackson Allegations
Testimony of Ralph Chacon, revealing the money he owed Jackson and his prior fraudulent lawsuit against Jackson
Promotional Interviews for Leaving Neverland:
CBS This Morning Interview from 2019
Inside Edition interview from 2018
In Robson and Safechuck's promotional interviews for the film, the interviewers make sure to ask them to repeat their graphic details to their own audiences.
Wade Robson's lawyer announcing Wade's allegations on gossip site TMZ, calling Jackson a "monster"
Using this site to announce his allegations goes against Robson's words in his deposition that he wanted to avoid sensationalizing his story.
Online tabloid Radaronline suspiciously got a hold of "exclusive court documents", with Wade's detailed allegations
Jimmy Kimmel interview with Wade Robson in 2003
This interview took place after Jackson was arrested in the Arvizo case. Kimmel and his audience are more than ready to accept details by Wade about being sexually abused.
Wade Robson pictured with Jackson, showing how he still has pigment in his skin, indicating his vitiligo was very severe by that point, before his depigmentation therapy
Pictures from April 1990, showing Jackson still has pigment in his skin
Jackson's iconic sequined glove was reportedly prompted by a need to cover up Jackson's vitiligo on his hands
Painter and Jackson friend David Nordahl on Jackson's vitiligo when he first met him in 1988 "When I first met him, his vitiligo had gone to the right side of his face and down his neck. Most of his right hand was white. Stark white patches. He used makeup because he had to. Without it, he was speckled all over.”
Jackson's dermatologist was Arnold Klein, who diagnosed Jackson with vitiligo
KING: What is vitiligo?
KLEIN: It's a loss of pigment cells. And the pigment cells, you -- for every 36 normal cells in your body, you have one pigment cell pumping pigment into them. Unfortunately, it's an autoimmune disease and lupus is an autoimmune disease. And they tend to go together, because you make antibodies against your pigment cells.
KING: Did Michael have it?
KLEIN: Absolutely. We biopsied (INAUDIBLE).
KING: What causes it?
KLEIN: It causes -- it's caused by your immune system and your immune system destroying your pigment cells.
KING: Do black people have it more than white people?
KLEIN: No. But it's just more visible on black people, because they have a dark skin. The other thing is, it certainly occurs with a family history. And I believe one of Michael's relatives did, in fact, have vitiligo.
KING: How bad was his?
KLEIN: Oh, his was bad because he began to get a totally speckled look over his body.
Pictures of Michael Jackson, even after depigmentation therapy, he still was speckled
Also includes statements about his makeup artist Karen Faye about having to cover up his patches with makeup.
Depigmentation therapy often causes a burning/redness in skin, also not noted by either Robson or Safechuck
Commentary about Jackson's vitiligo and lupus, from the Vindicating Michael website
Sensations encoded in memory often the strongest
In this report on the impact of trauma in sex abuse victims, it is noted that often it's the sensations of abuse that are encoded the strongest. However, in Robson and Safechuck's case, they are focusing on the acts, not the sensations, such as seeing striking brown and albino white patches
Sampling of the accounts from male sex abuse survivors as presented by the 1 in 6 advocacy group:
(These videos have since been removed from their website, possibly because some of these stories are now part of a documentary they put together)
In this case, the abuser quickly went from a favorite uncle to very scary; there are memories of the molester's breath, his scent, the sound of his voice, these all became evil in his mind, and describes abuse without getting too graphic, but does get emotional
Emotional without being graphic, also had a very negative response to the abuse
Dark and conflicted feelings because he idolized his father, but hated the abuse, thought it was disgusting and scary, describes scent memories
Perpetrator worked to become central role in his life, slowly got close and tested physical boundaries