A new documentary film, “Leaving Neverland," scheduled to air on HBO Sunday and Monday, is turning public attention back to sexual abuse allegations made against the late "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. The allegations of sexual abuse are tragic enough, but two of the boys who claimed to have been abused also share another heartbreaking connection: the suicide of their fathers.
The movie focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who not only knew Jackson in the nineties when they were children but whom also defended him while he when he was accused of molesting other kids. Both Robson and Safechuck later came forward with their own abuse allegations of the singer after he died.
The Los Angeles Police Department began investigating Jackson in 1993 after the father of the then-13-year-old Jordan, or Jordy, Chandler accused Jackson of molesting the boy, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Chandler reportedly told his dad, former Beverly Hills dentist Evan Chandler, about the alleged abuse while under anesthesia for a tooth extraction, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Evan Chandler took his own life inside a luxury apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey in November of 2009. He died from a single gunshot wound to his head, according to the New York Post.
Evan Chandler underwent multiple plastic surgery operations on his face, according to NBC Los Angeles. He reportedly did so, in part, to avoid being harassed for the allegations he filed against Jackson, according to Radar Online. He died just months after Michael Jackson did.
He and his son were estranged at the time.
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Wade Robson and his dad were also estranged when his father committed suicide.
Wade’s father Dennis Robson hung himself in 2002, according to a 2013 Radar Online report. Before killing himself he battled with bipolar disorder. According to the report, which cites Wade Robson’s 2013 complaint filed against Jackson, “the thought that Plaintiff [Wade Robson] might have been sexually abused by Decedent [Jackson] was a huge source of anxiety and depression for his father.”
The Jackson estate has also claimed that it was the suicide of his dad and the family history of mental illness that caused the emotional breakdowns Robson said he had in 2011 and 2012. Robson said they were caused by finally acknowledging that he was sexually abused by Jackson.
Jackson himself always denied any and all molestation allegations.
The Jackson estate vehemently denies the allegations put forth in the new documentary. In a statement they have called it “another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” in addition to being “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”
His estate is also attempting to sue HBO for $100 million for disparagement, citing a 1992 contract with the entertainer.
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