Michael Jackson’s estate has blasted a documentary featuring two men who accuse the late pop star of sexually molesting them when they were young boys.
Due to be aired on Channel 4 later this year, the film includes a string of new sexual abuse allegations against the singer, including claims of abuse made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
In the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, it is alleged the Billie Jean singer gave his young male victims jewellery in exchange for sexual favours.
Leaving Neverland – a reference to the singer’s California ranch – also alleges that the King of Pop even staged a mock wedding complete with vows and a diamond ring with one boy.
Jackson, who died in 2009 aged 50, denied all allegations that he was involved in abusing underage boys and was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005.
His estate described Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck as “two perjurers” after they made sworn statements when Jackson was alive that he had not abused them.
It said the film was not a documentary but a “tabloid assassination” of Jackson that he had endured in life and now in death.
The estate accused the film of focusing too much on Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck while ignoring others who spent significant time with Jackson and “stated that he treated children with respect and did nothing hurtful to them”.
The statement said: “Leaving Neverland isn’t a documentary, it is the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.
“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact.
“These claims were the basis of lawsuits filed by these two admitted liars which were ultimately dismissed by a judge.
“The two accusers testified under oath that these events never occurred.
“They have provided no independent evidence and absolutely no proof in support of their accusations, which means the entire film hinges solely on the word of two perjurers.”
During a question and answer session at the premier in Utah, Mr Robson said it had been an incredible experience being able to talk to Mr Safechuck after feeling isolated for so long.
Mr Safechuck added that they were not offered any money to take part in the documentary.