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Controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland gets a trailer

Even a decade after his death, Michael Jackson has remained a controversial figure, largely thanks to the allegations of child sexual abuse which have followed him for years. LEAVING NEVERLAND, a new two-part documentary which made a big splash at the Sundance Film Festival, is slated to debut next month, and HBO have released the first chilling trailer for the film.

LEAVING NEVERLAND focuses primarily on the experiences of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, two boys who were both befriended by Michael Jackson and spent a considerable amount of time with the former King of Pop during their childhoods. The film gets quite graphic at times and the allegations are incredibly disturbing, and the Jackson estate is obviously very displeased by its existence. A letter written by estate attorney Howard Weitzman called both Safechuck and Robson's allegations "disgraceful" and urged HBO to look into their backgrounds. Weitzman also slammed director Dan Reed for making no attempt at getting a response from the Jackson estate itself or by interviewing anyone who could dispel the allegations. "The fact that HBO and its producing partners did not even deign to reach out to any of these people to explore the credibility of the false stories Robson and Safechuck told violates all norms and ethics in documentary filmmaking and journalism," the letter read. "It is a disgrace." For their part, HBO is standing behind the film, only saying that "people should reserve judgment until they see [it]."

The official synopsis for LEAVING NEVERLAND:

This two-part documentary explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own.

The first part of LEAVING NEVERLAND will debut on HBO on March 3, 2019 with the second following on March 4, 2019.

Source: HBO

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