Sundance Adds Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Documentary to Lineup
The late singer's estate has called the doc "outrageous and pathetic."
A documentary about the lives of two boys who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse has been added to this year's Sundance Film Festival lineup.
Leaving Neverland, from producer-director Dan Reed, endeavors to tell the stories of two boys, ages 7 and 10, who began long-running relationships with superstar Michael Jackson at the height of his stardom. Now in their 30s, the pair describe how they were sexually abused by Jackson and how they came to terms with it years later.
Michael Jackson's estate has released a statement in response to the news, blasting the doc as "yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson."
Also set to have a world premiere at the fest is the Steve Bannon doc The Brink from director Alison Klayman and producer Marie Therese Guirgis. The official logline for the movie reads: "Now unconstrained by an official White House post, Steve Bannon is free to peddle influence as a perceived kingmaker with a direct line to the President. After anointing himself leader of the 'populist movement,' he travels around the U.S. and the world spreading his hard-line anti-immigration message."
The festival is set to run Jan. 24-Feb. 4 in Park City.
Read the full statement from the Michael Jackson Estate, below.
This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.
Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them.
Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception,’ filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed.
This so called "documentary" is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.
Jan. 9, 5:20 p.m. Updated with statement from Jackson's estate.