Ahead of the HBO airing of the two-part miniseries Leaving Neverland, which debuted on January 25 at The Sundance Film Festival, newly unearthed footage has surfaced via DailyMailTV of the late music icon Michael Jackson being grilled about the allegations that haunted the latter part of his life.
Filmed at The Four Seasons Hotel in New York on March 1, 1996, the video shows the King of Pop (joined by off-screen advisors Steve Cochrane and Zia Modabber) fidget and awkwardly laugh as he’s asked straightforward questions about the claims of sexual molestation lodged against him about Neverland Ranch regulars Macaulay Culkin, Jordan Chandler, and Brett Barnes.
Near the tail end of the clip, Jackson is shown and asked to describe documents which he says are speaking points for an interview meant to set the records straight about “crazy stories” that people seemingly fabricated out of thin air.
“If people hear a lie long enough, they start to believe it,” he said, listing off a number rumors, such as skin bleaching and his sexuality.
Noting that you shouldn’t judge a person unless you’ve actually spoken to them, he then quoted a Bible verse, noting that “Jesus loved the children and said to be like the children … he always surrounded himself with children.”
Referencing the honesty and pureness of heart children exhibit, he adds “that’s how I was raised, to imitate that.”
The Leaving Neverland documentary, which is slated to air in March, centers around Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim the star raped and sexually abused them during sleepovers at Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California.