Taj Jackson has admitted his uncle Michael Jackson’s “naivety was his downfall” because he didn’t consider how his slumber parties with young children would look to the outside world.
The King of Pop’s family and estate have repeatedly blasted documentary Leaving Neverland, which features testimonies from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by the late singer when they were children, since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January (19).
It will premiere on TV in the U.S. on Sunday (03Mar19), despite Michael’s estate launching a lawsuit to stop it, and his brothers Marlon, Jackie and Tito and Tito’s son Taj have sat down for an interview with U.S. show CBS This Morning to insist upon the star’s innocence.
In a preview clip from the interview, which is set to air on Wednesday, Gayle King asked if they found it odd that Michael would have slumber parties or share a bed with young children, and Taj said he didn’t see it that way because he grew up in that environment.
“You know, I think, to the outside world, yes, I think it can be odd. I mean, I’m not oblivious to what it sounds like,” the 45-year-old said. “But when you’re actually there in that atmosphere…. it’s very innocent. But I think, the fault on my uncle was he just, he didn’t have that bone in his body to look at it the other way. And I think that was the thing, is that his naivety was his downfall in a way.”
The group replied “No, never” when asked if Michael was abusive to children and then admitted that they have no intention of watching the documentary.
“I don’t have to see that documentary,” Jackie explained. “I know Michael. I’m the oldest brother. I know my brother. I know what he stood for. What he was all about. Bringing the world together. Making kids happy. That’s the kind of person he was.”
Marlon added, “This documentary is not telling the truth. There has not been not one piece of evidence that corroborates their story. And they’re not interested in doing that.”
The 61-year-old said that the documentary is “all about the money” and Taj explained, “I hate to say it when it’s my uncle, it’s almost like they see a blank check. These people felt that they’re owed something.”
Michael, who passed away in 2009, was acquitted in a 2005 trial for child molestation.
Leaving Neverland airs on America’s HBO channel on Sunday and Monday before airing on Channel 4 in the U.K. from 6 March.