Jackson’s family members -- including daughter Paris, brother Jermaine and nephews TJ and Taj -- continue to maintain MJ's innocence, protesting the alleged victims’ claims as bold-faced lies and exploitation of the late superstar’s memory. Meanwhile, other celebrities have rallied behind Robson and Safechuck after seeing the documentary, with some even retracting their previous support of Jackson.
Corey Feldman, who had initially taken to Twitter in a passionate defense of his friend upon seeing Leaving Neverland, walked back his statement after taking time to process the documentary’s claims.
“I don’t want to be perceived as I’m here to defend Michael Jackson, because I can no longer do that,” he stated in an interview with HLN on Thursday. “I can not in good consciousness defend anyone who’s being accused of such horrendous crimes. I’m also not here to judge him, because again, he did not do those things to me and that was not my experience."
Meanwhile, Grace Rwaramba, the former nanny to Jackson’s three children, issued a lengthy statement against the allegations. “If Michael harmed Wade Robson and James Safechuck, they have my deepest sympathy and compassion,” Rwaramba said in the statement. “I don’t claim to know what happened between Michael and his accusers. I wasn’t there. However, because Michael is no longer here to defend himself, and because I have a unique view of him and the life he lived, I feel compelled to speak out against what I firmly believe to be false claims. The person that Wade and James describe is not the person that I knew.”
She continued, stating, “He was trusting to the point of extreme naivete; always assuming the best intentions in everyone,” Rwaramba said of Jackson in the statement. “While he was far from perfect, in my over twelve years of living with Michael, knowing him and his lifestyle intimately, I never saw or experienced anything that led me to suspect that he was capable of child sexual abuse."
Others, like Jason Derulo, have not seen the documentary, choosing instead to focus on the legacy of music left behind by the King of Pop. “Michael was the sole reason I started singing and dancing, so this was a way for me to give back,” Derulo said of his new single “Shut Up and Dance” in an interview with The Associated Press. “I started this project because of my love of the performer that Michael Jackson is and the influence that he had on my life as the best performer that ever lived. This has nothing to do with anyone’s personal life.”
Check out more reactions both in defense of and against Jackson below.