Corey Feldman is dramatically pulling back his support for embattled friend Michael Jackson in light of “horrendous” child sexual abuse allegations.
The former child star, 47, told HLN on Wednesday that he can “no longer” speak in support of Jackson after he watched and processed “Leaving Neverland,” the bombshell HBO documentary that aired Sunday night.
“I don’t want to be perceived as I’m here to defend Michael Jackson, because I can no longer do that. I can not in good consciousness defend anyone who’s being accused of such horrendous crimes,” Feldman said. “I’m also not here to judge him, because again, he did not do those things to me and that was not my experience.”
Feldman said on Twitter later that the HLN discussion was “the hardest interview” he had ever done.
It’s a different statement than Feldman had initially made watching the two-part, four-hour documentary. “Leaving Neverland” is centered around Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, who tell their stories of Jackson allegedly sexually abusing them at ages 7 and 10, respectively, when they were in the singer’s inner circle at the height of his fame.
The Michael Jackson estate has fought against “Leaving Neverland” from the announcement of its premiere, filing a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. Feldman had joined in the defense of Jackson, too, tweeting directly after it aired.
#Neverland OK I WATCHED IT ALL I KNOW IS WHAT I EXPERIENCED, & YES EVERY EXPERIENCE WAS THE SAME....RIGHT UP 2 THE SEX PART! THAT IS WHERE IT BECOMES LALA LAND, INSTEAD OF NEVERLAND 4 ME. WE NEVER SPOKE ABOUT SEX OTHER THAN A FEW WARNINGS ABOUT HOW SEX WAS SCARY, & DANGEROUS. MJ— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) March 4, 2019
But Feldman, who says he was sexually molested at age 14, said Wednesday he was considering all sides, “even as uncomfortable as that may be.” He maintained that with Jackson “absolutely nothing inappropriate ever happened. We were friends.”
Feldman said watching the documentary was “shocking and disturbing. There’s nothing else that can be said for it.” But he only watched the first part.
“To be honest with you, it was very emotional, it was very painful, and I couldn’t watch all of it,” said Feldman, adding that Robson and Safechuck were both “very believable.”
He continued to maintain that he wished the documentary “happened while Michael was alive” so that Jackson could defend himself.