Viewers Repulsed By Details Of Alleged Sexual Abuse In Leaving Neverland
The documentary, Leaving Neverland, was never going to make for a comfortable watch, but many viewers were shocked and sickened by the extent of the allegations of sexual abuse made against Michael Jackson in the programme.
The first two-hour part of the documentary aired on Channel 4 last night and followed the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim to have been sexually abused by the late singer as children.
Recounting the alleged abuse, Mr Safechuck claimed that his penis swelled up after masturbating with Jackson and that the singer - who died in 2009 aged 50 - made him bend over and spread his cheeks.
Many viewers took to Twitter to share their disgust, with numerous people claiming to have been made to feel physically sick by the allegations.
One person said: "I was so excited to watch #LeavingNeverland but now I'm not sure why. I feel physically sick watching these two brave men give such a graphic description of the abuse they experienced from someone the world idolised."
Another said: "Feel physically sick watching this and hearing this. Knowing I have a little boy and knowing these boys went through this is sickening."
A third added: "OMG the details in #LeavingNeverland are shocking and disturbing! He got away with so much abuse!!"
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In the documentary, Mr Safechuck, who is now 42, claims a 29-year-old Jackson taught him to masturbate in Paris when he was only 10. He claimed they went on to have sex 'hundreds' of times and that they even staged a fake wedding together.
However, many other viewers found it difficult to believe the allegations.
One person said: "It's difficult not to have doubts about #MichaelJackson's accusations, but watching #LeavingNeverland I'm finding it hard to believe these two guys! It just seems like another scam..."
Another added: "MJ was not a normal person that is obvious but people believe this shite. There is only ONE reason for this. MONEY. These guys are frauds."
But some suggested the condemnation and disregard of Mr Safechuck and Mr Robson's testimonies highlighted just why victims of sexual abuse often find it difficult to come forward.
One person said: "Following the hashtag for this is pretty awful with the victim blaming and lack of understanding of how abusers groom the victims and their families.
"Actually, scratch awful. Horrific. One look at it explains all you need to get a small insight into why so many people don't/can't talk about child sexual abuse."
Another added: "All these people saying 'sexual abuse victims don't act like that'...is there a specific way they're supposed to act? Who are you to judge them?! It wasn't a traumatic time for them, it was a happy time for them. They were just too young to realise what it was."
The second part of Leaving Neverland will air on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.
Featured Image Credit: PA