Michael Jackson's estate posts live concert footage during 'Leaving Neverland' TV premiere

Leaving Neverland (Credit: HBO)
Leaving Neverland (Credit: HBO)

The estate of Michael Jackson defied the allegations made in new documentary Leaving Neverland by posting free concert footage of the singer online for fans.

Leaving Neverland, made by British BAFTA-winning director Dan Reed, premiered on HBO in the US last night.

In it, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who met Jackson when they were children, reveal in graphic detail allegations that he sexually abused them when they were seven and 10.

Read more: Channel 4 confirms air dates of Leaving Neverland

While the first part of the four-hour film aired, the estate of Jackson posted: “Don’t miss the magic from the King of Pop himself! Immerse yourself in Michael Jackson. Live in Bucharest and Live at Wembley Stadium available for a limited time on Michael Jackson’s @youtube!”

The estate has threatened HBO and parent company Time Warner with a $100 million lawsuit, saying that in broadcasting the film, it would be breaking a contract it signed in 1992 when it aired one of Jackson’s concerts.

The contract contained a non-disparagement clause relating to content featuring Jackson in the future.

In the face of the threats, and the Jackson family calling the film ‘a public lynching’, HBO has remained resolute.

It said in a statement: “Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”

Safechuck met Jackson when he was cast in a Pepsi commercial in 1986, and later took he and his family with him on tour. He claims that on the tour, Jackson taught him to masturbate.

“He set it up like I’m going to show you something that everybody does and you’ll enjoy it,” he said.

Read more: ‘Devastating’ Michael Jackson doc leaves viewers shell-shocked

“It felt like you were bonding, in a way. The tour was the start of this sexual, like, couple relationship. He would run drills with me where we’d be in the hotel room and he would pretend like somebody was coming in and you had to get dressed as fast as possible without making noise.”

Both Safechuck and Robson have denied being molested by Jackson in the past, Robson even appearing as part of the Jackson defence in his 2005 abuse trial, something both men have come under criticism for.

The film airs its second part tonight in the US, and then airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday and Thursday this week, at 9pm.