Leaving Neverland Director Responds To Allegations Of Inaccuracies In Story

Dan Reed, the director of documentary Leaving Neverland, has responded to claims that allegations made against the late singer Michael Jackson in the film were inaccurate.

The singer's biographer Mike Smallcombe said claims made by James Safechuck - that he was abused in Neverland's train station - were false.

In the film, Safechuck alleges that he was a victim of sexual assault which occurred in an upstairs room in the station, famous for its floral clock. However, according to Smallcombe this would have been impossible, as the assaults are alleged to have taken place between 1988 and 1992, ending when Safechuck was 14.

Taking to Twitter, the author shared building permits for the train station, showing they were in fact approved on 2 September 1993, with the building opening a year later.

Smallcombe said: "In the last couple of hours I've been given access to the Santa Barbara County construction permits for the Neverland train station by my source - approved Sept 2, 1993."

Reed replied: "Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse."

Dan Reed (centre) has responded to claims James Safechuck's (right) allegations were false. Credit: PA
Dan Reed (centre) has responded to claims James Safechuck's (right) allegations were false. Credit: PA

Speaking to Mirror Online, Smallcombe hit out at the film's director, calling him 'embarrassing'.

He said: "Because the story has been debunked, it appears Reed is now suddenly wanting to change Safechuck's timeline himself.

"Firstly, I'm shocked that he's spoken on Safechuck's behalf. And secondly, it's embarrassing that he feels he has to now change the narrative of the film - which is that the alleged abuse stopped in 1992 - all because part of it has been disproved.

"That's what happens when you take allegations like that at face value and make no attempts to scrutinise and investigate whether they are true."

He added: "By acknowledging the build date, Reed is essentially confirming that Safechuck's claim of being abused in Neverland's train station between 1988 and 1992 is impossible.

"To seemingly now claim on Safechuck's behalf that the abuse went on as Safechuck approached adulthood, all to preserve the timeline of his film is astonishing."

This isn't the first time Smallcombe has come out to defend Jackson, who died in 2009. Last month he claimed court documents prove that some of Wade Robson's allegations of sexual abuse by the singer are false.

Referencing the testimony from Robson's mother Joy, made back in 1993, the biographer said it proves at least some of the alleged victim's claims in Leaving Neverland are not true.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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