If you’ve been following the news, then you’ve likely already heard of Leaving Neverland, the new Michael Jackson documentary that interviews two of the singer’s accusers. In the same vein as Surviving R. Kelly, the film highlights two of the musician’s alleged victims. Wade Robson and James “Jimmy” Safechuck are the main subjects of the two-part documentary in which they share their allegations and claims that the “Thriller” singer sexually abused them both when they were younger. Check out the info you need below on how to watch the documentary and answering any lingering questions you may have.
When did Part 1 and Part 2 of Leaving Neverland air?
Part 1 of Leaving Neverland debuted on HBO on Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. Part 2 of Leaving Neverland airs on HBO on Monday, March 4 at 8 p.m. and is followed by an after show including an interview with the two alleged victims airing Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m. Both halves of the documentary were first shown at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
How can you watch Leaving Neverland?
If you have HBO included with your cable subscription, you can watch it as it airs on the channel or on HBO GO. If you don’t have cable, you can sign up for a free 7-day trial of HBO Now.
Where is Michael Jackson’s Hayvenhurst House?
Most fans are familiar with Michael Jackson’s legendary Neverland Ranch, but the house that the pop icon spent most his time with is referred to in the documentary as the Hayvenhurst House. It’s a home that the family patriarch, Joe Jackson, bought in Encino, California for his children to live in. After Jackson 5 became successful, the father bought the house in 1971 and later sold it to his son, Michael. The “Smooth Criminal” singer lived there until 1988 when he was in his 30s, but the family still owns the estate. According to Curbed Los Angeles, the house was remodeled during the years that Michael lived there to include a recording studio, koi pond, and a 6-foot-tall diorama of the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Where is Neverland Ranch?
The famous abode is located in Los Olivos, California. According to The Wall Street Journal, the singer bought the estate in 1987 for a whopping $19.5 million and lived there for over 15 years. Architectural Digest lists the property as 2,700 acres with a 12,000-square-foot main house, several guest houses, a lagoon-style swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court, and fire department. It also used to include amusement park rides, giving it a feeling reminiscent of Disneyland. It’s also the location where Robson and Safechuck allege that some of their abuse took place.
Who is Brett Barnes, the third boy mentioned in the Michael Jackson documentary?
In the documentary, Robson and Safechuck mention a boy named Brett Barnes as another young friend of the singer. They claim that he and actor Macaulay Culkin were brought in as younger “replacements” for them once they started to get too old. According to E! News, however, Barnes denied ever being assaulted back when he was 11 years old in the early ’90s. “He kissed you like you kiss your mother,” he told reporters during a press conference. “It’s not unusual for him to hug, kiss and nuzzle up to you and stuff.” Barnes, along with his mother and sister, testified on Jackson’s behalf in a 2005 trial, defending him. Now, he’s continuing to stand by the singer, calling the documentary “lies” and tweeting, “So people are getting their facts from a movie now? I wonder how they feel about the documentary showing the great alien invasion of ‘96. I think it was called Independence Day.”
So people are getting their facts from a movie now? I wonder how they feel about the documentary showing the great alien invasion of ‘96. I think it was called Independence Day.
— Brett Barnes (@IAmBrettBarnes) January 27, 2019
Does James “Jimmy” Safechuck or Wade Robson have a wife now? Are they married?
Today, both of the alleged victims interviewed in Leaving Neverland are married with children. According to Heavy, Safechuck married a woman named Laura Primack and together they have two children. Wade Robson is married to Amanda Rodriguez, a fashion designer and choreographer who’s work has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance. Heavy states that they married in 2005 and she has supported him through the allegations. Together, they have a son named Koa.
What have reactions to Leaving Neverland been like?
People who’ve seen the documentary claim that it holds nothing back and is hard to get through, and reactions have been fierce whether you believe the allegations made in the film or vehemently deny them. Check out how some viewers have responded on social media after watching at least some of the film.
I had to stop watching. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse should be aware that this is unsparing and brutal in its content. It's really bad. If you're even slightly vulnerable to triggering, just don't watch. It's not worth it.#LeavingNeverland
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 4, 2019
“I had to stop watching. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse should be aware that this is unsparing and brutal in its content,” wrote Charlotte Clymer. “It’s really bad. If you’re even slightly vulnerable to triggering, just don’t watch. It’s not worth it.”
watching leaving neverland. i’m young enough to have not been aware of the allegations about michael jackson as they were happening and it is WILD TO ME that anyone thought his behavior around and constant contact with young boys was remotely okay
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) March 4, 2019
“Watching Leaving Neverland,” said Jamelle Bouie. “I’m young enough to have not been aware of the allegations about Michael Jackson as they were happening, and it is wild to me that anyone thought his behavior around and constant contact with young boys was remotely ok.”
As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the soul purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope. #LeavingNeverland
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) March 4, 2019
“As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the sole purpose of pleasing adults,” wrote Amber Tamblyn. “It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope.”
RAINN, a national network that helps those who have suffered abuse, even offered viewers self-care tips for those “affected by the coverage.” Of course, some have also spoke out against the documentary. In January 2019, the singer’s estate slammed the documentary as “character assassination,” and in February 2019, news broke that they were also suing HBO. “HBO breached its agreement not to disparage Michael Jackson by producing and selling to the public a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself,” attorney Howard Weitzman told In Touch in a statement.
Others, like MJ’s brother, Jermaine Jackson, have spoken out more directly.
Easy to say anything you like to some guy with a camera for some shallow documentary devoid of scrutiny, curiosity, proof, or journalistic standard. Harder to lie to judge & jury in 2005 when truth was the only currency. Join the dots, media. #LeavingNeverland
— Jermaine Jackson (@jermjackson5) January 30, 2019
“Easy to say anything you like to some guy with a camera for some shallow documentary devoid of scrutiny, curiosity, proof, or journalistic standard,” he tweeted. “Harder to lie to judge & jury in 2005 when truth was the only currency. Join the dots, media.”
Michael Jackson and his estate have long maintained the singer’s innocence, denying all claims of abuse and assault against him.