Park City, Jan 27 (AP/UNB) —Michael Jackson's estate is blasting a documentary that tells the stories of two men who accuse Michael Jackson of sexually molesting them when they were young boys, calling the film "tabloid character assassination."
A statement released by Jackson's estate late Friday calls the men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, "two perjurers" — a reference to sworn statements the men gave when Jackson was alive that he had not abused them. The men leveled their abuse allegations after Jackson's death.
The pair's stories are the basis for "Leaving Neverland," a four-hour documentary that will air later this year on HBO and Channel 4 in Britain. It earned a somber standing ovation after its premiere at Sundance on Friday.
The estate accuses the film of focusing too much on Robson and Safechuck and ignoring others who spent significant time with Jackson and "stated that he treated children with respect and did nothing hurtful to them."
Michael Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck have been greeted with a solemn standing ovation by a theater full of people at the Sundance Film Festival.
The stories of the two men who allege Jackson sexually abused them as children are detailed in the documentary "Leaving Neverland," which had its only screening Friday at the film festival.
In a Q&A, Robson said it has been an incredible experience being able to talk to Safechuck after feeling isolated for so long. Safechuck added that they were not offered any money to participate in the documentary, which will air on Britain's Channel 4 and HBO this spring.
The Jackson estate denounced the documentary for rehashing "discredited allegations." Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005.