Corey Feldman has re-assessed his defence of Michael Jackson, after initially supporting the late singer in the face of sexual abuse allegations.
In the new documentary Leaving Neverland, two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, have come forward with new allegations that Jackson abused them when they were children.
After the film, made by British BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, was shown in the US this week, Feldman, who knew Jackson, cast doubt on the claims.
But having been a victim of abuse himself, he’s now backtracked, clearly concerned that he was doubting those with abuse stories.
Read more: Simpsons pull Michael Jackson episode
He added that the release of the film has been ‘a very emotional time for me’.
“I ask people to put themselves in my shoes,” he said in an interview on HLN.
“You’re a kid who has endured sexual abuse and during those times, I’m looking to somebody like Michael Jackson as a friend, as a big brother figure. And he was that person to me.
“However, as you’re friends with this guy, all of a sudden you start to hear more and more accusations being thrown around by various people and it comes to a point where — as an advocate for victims, as an advocate for changing the statutes of limitations to make sure victims voices are heard — it becomes impossible for me to remain virtuous and not at least consider what’s being said and not listen to what the victims are saying.
“We must allow them to speak and therefore, we must consider all sides of this, even as uncomfortable as that might be.”
However, Feldman maintains that Jackson did not abuse him during their time as friends.
“Absolutely nothing inappropriate ever happened,” he added. “We were friends.”
Speaking about the film itself, he told PageSix: “To me, the most shocking and appalling part of this whole thing are the actions and misdeeds made by the parents of both children, and the decision to allow their kids to be unaccompanied in the presence of an adult they did not know and trust.
“As a father, I could not ever imagine allowing my child to go off with a grown man I did not consider as close as family without any adult supervision. Not even Michael Jackson. It comes down to trading your kids out for an opportunity, and making them the focus of your financial interests, as opposed to the child’s wellbeing.”
Feldman claims that as a child star, he was sexually abused by a group of powerful men in the entertainment business.