How Many More Might Accuse Michael Jackson?

The landscape has now changed on a story I first began reporting some two decades ago and newly released details demand an update to the sad saga.

Two men have come forward to discuss, in graphic detail, what they say was their years-long sexual abuse at the hands of entertainer Michael Jackson. Their claims spill out in a newly screened four-hour documentary just released at the Sundance Film Festival. The biopic entitled, “Leaving Neverland” will be shown on HBO sometime this spring.

Film critics who viewed the expose wrote that the shocking revelations of James Safechuck and Wade Robson are, “devastatingly powerful and (offer) convincing testimony that Michael Jackson was guilty of child sexual abuse.” Another wrote, that the audience was left “shell-shocked” by the details, a third predicted, “ You’ll never listen to Michael Jackson the same way again. In fact, you may never listen to Michael Jackson again at all.”

Safechuck (Center) with Jackson in Hawaii – Feb. 1988 – photo courtesy of Alan Light

Safechuck, 40, says his molestation by Jackson started when he was 10. Robson, 36, says it first happened to him at age 7 and when he had his own son the reality hit him. He realized what Jackson had done to him as a boy was a crime.

Both men met Jackson through their childhood interest in show business. Robeson as a dancer, Safechuck as an actor. The boys – and their parents – were mesmerized by the superstar’s attention and expensive gifts.

Safechuck and Robson had not met until just before the screening.  In separate on-camera interviews they recount private times spent with Jackson that included watching pornography and lessons in kissing, masturbation, oral and anal sex, all cloaked in playful boyhood language. They were constantly reminded by Jackson, they said, to keep their activities secret or they would “go to jail.” Safechuck remembers he was put though drills on quickly putting his clothes back on and was once “married” to Jackson in a ceremony that included vows and rings. Robson reveals his idol once instructed him to throw away his underwear after a sexual encounter and that he became jealous as other, younger boys were brought in to replace him. The film suggests Safechuck and Robson weren’t the only victims of the King of Pop.

Jackson’s fans, family and estate lawyers were quick to label the documentary “tabloid character assassination” engineered by two men who are motivated by money and are known “perjurers.”

A Still of Jackson and Robson from Leaving Neverland – Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The first charge is strange since neither was paid for appearing in the documentary and lawsuits they filed against the Jackson estate years ago were dismissed with no monetary settlement. The Jackson team does have a point when it mentions perjury. Both Robson and Safechuck have said in the past – and under oath – that while they slept in bed with Jackson nothing untoward occurred.

But have we learned nothing about how child sex abuse victims react? Think about the countless numbers of adults who have come forward years or decades later to talk about priestly molestation or forced sexual activity at the hands of a doctor, teacher or other authority figure. That Safechuck and Robson kept the secret is not unique. Victims often deny abuse when asked and wait until they feel strong enough to endure outsider’s reactions to their truth.

In a recent conversation with retired FBI Agent Ken Lanning, the man who wrote the pedophile profile for the Bureau, I was reminded how charming and cunning pedophiles can be and, most importantly, how they seduce parents first as a way to gain access to the child.

“Maybe these men now feel safer to speak out because Michael Jackson is dead,” Lanning told me. “Or maybe it’s because they are both fathers now.” Or maybe they were just tired of carrying such an ugly burden all these years. The last section of the documentary is particularly moving as the men tearfully explain just how they finally disclosed their secret to their families.

Are All the Accusers Lying?

Since 1993, when I first reported the story about Jackson and allegations of child sex abuse, and especially after release of my book detailing the years I spent investigating the charges, the most frequently asked question has been, “Do you think he really did it?”  When asked I always go through the names of the other young men who have identified themselves as Jackson’s victims:  Jordan Chandler, Jason Francia, Gavin Arvizo and now James Safechuck and Wade Robson.  I have knowledge of and suspicions about a dozen more males who, as children, were exposed to Jackson in very similar ways.  Perhaps in the future some of them will come forward too.

In this #MeToo #TimesUp era there seems to be a measurable shift in public opinion about Jackson’s behavior with children and a deeper understanding of what victims of sex crimes go through. If, as I sense, more people will come to the conclusion that Jackson was a pedophile after seeing this documentary then there is only one remaining question:  how did he get away with it for so long?






  1. Diane Dimond on February 7, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Reader Barbara Jane Sowak wrote:

    Diane Dimond Bravo girl……you are right about that, there have been many cases where the victims lie, claiming nope, they were not abused, or don’t report it and years later they renege on that and the truth comes out. I cannot imagine living with that…. and while some say “oh let the dead RIP”, sorry…someone like MJ was held to such high esteem and so idolized, if he was in actual fact a sexual predator he manipulated so many that the truth should come out. Bravo.

  2. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Reader Andy Hirsch writes:

    Diane Dimond thank you for pointing out now five guys have stepped forward with consistent molestation stories about Michael Jackson! Why does it only take one or two #metoo stories to take down most politicians these days but MJ fans will never believe Michael Jackson was indeed a pedophile even though more are coming forward and telling their own stories? I’m sure after Leaving Neverland airs next month on HBO there will be more who find their own voice to say he molested them too!

  3. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Reader Kurt K Guy writes:
    All the research says there are usually hundreds (of victims per pedophile). I’d assume even more for an individual with the financial means and paid protectors of his crimes.

    37 Scarey Repeat Sex Offenders Statistics – HRF
    37 Scarey Repeat Sex Offenders Statistics – HRF

  4. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Reader Julie Morin writes:
    Maybe we should exhume his body and arrest him.

  5. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Reader Linda Heloise writes:

    I think a lot of people like me don’t want to believe it.

  6. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Reader Julie Lynne Belshe writes:

    So Sad for the children and Families. He was one of the most talented musician’s of all Times!

  7. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Reader Lyn Novosel writes:

    I think we do not want to believe it, but the more we hear the more it seems likely. He was an odd guy…..musically a genius though as we all know.

  8. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Reader Debbii Longshaw writes:

    May I give you some reading & viewing matter?
    It is just I am very concerned that you might have some sort of cerebral issue, Diane.
    You seem unable, or maybe unwilling, to avail yourself of FACTS (to which the general public are becoming aware) in regards to your slanderous publications & articles about Michael Jackson.
    All the information contained within these articles & vids are FACTS & can be checked, unlike those you enjoy spouting to your mignons!…/what-you-should-know…/amp/…
    He is innocent!
    Leave him & his family be!

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

      DD replies:

      There are plenty more critiques of the documentary to read besides this one. Hope your mind is open enough to read all of them.

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:03 pm

        Reader Lyn Novosel replies:

        Diane Dimond reported on this years ago and kept on it with honest reporting. She has no “celebral issue”. I think because you are an avid fan, you just can’t accept that it happened. WHat is normal about having young boys sleep in the same bed? He was very abnormal whether you believe it or not. Diane is a very honest journalist.

  9. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Reader Lori Nelson writes:

    Easy to denigrate the dead.
    True or not, what can be done now?

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      Diane Dimond replies:

      What can be done now? Really? Can I tell you how many survivors of childhood sexual abuse appreciate when this topic is in the news? It validates their victimhood, lets them know they are not alone. And speaking openly about such a topic helps lift the taboo survivors have long felt. The #MeToo movemment made countless women feel liberated enough to talk about their sexual abuse experiences. Why would it be any different for abused men who were victimized as children? Beleive me, it makes a difference. I hear this from survivors freqently.

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:08 pm

        Lori Nelson replies:

        Diane Dimond WE KNOW we’re not alone. So why aren’t you talking about my grandfather (also dead) instead of Michael Jackson ?
        Yeah, count me out of the “appreciate ” crowd…when it comes to commercialization of crime.
        Maybe you weren’t abused.
        Don’t throw stones so easily.
        You can do better.
        Go after live creeps.
        There are plenty.

        • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:09 pm

          Diane Dimond replies to Lori Nelson:

          I’m unclear what “stones” you think I’ve thrown at sex abuse victims?? That just doesn’t even comport with my body of work on the issue (Jackson and many other cases i.e. Sandusky) per your request I will count you out of the crowd of survivors who appreciate open, honest acceptance of their verified claims.

  10. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Reader Carolyn O’Connor writes:

    Just seems like this is the tip of an iceberg.
    How are the kids Michael parented in this.
    I know Paris had a suicide attempt?

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:11 pm

      Reader Reader Kathleen Wells replies:

      It validates the victims of MJ that they were telling the truth. Think about all of the women that claimed rape or molestation by Bill Cosby and everyone saying it couldn’t be because of who He was…such an upstanding citizen etc. Then FINALLY he was charged, convicted and sentenced to jail time for just the one victim. It helped all of the other victims by the public finally seeing Bill Cosby for who he is and what he has done. They no longer are women out for revenge or women seeking attention or $ for fake claims. They are believed now. Sure they knew they weren’t alone, but when it is such a beloved public person that has committed such a heinous act, many rush to defend the accused and then attack the victims.

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:11 pm

        Reader Reader Dave Montes replies:

        Diane Dimond , no justice can be done now. But hopefully some healing can begin. People always ignore or forget the victims, when a favorite celebrity does something to them.

  11. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Reader Joshua Mitchell writes:

    I really liked your book on the case I know he was a sick man

  12. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Reader Kyla Thompson writes:

    No one should get off the hook – dead or alive. There used to be a wonderful billboard in Denver that stood for many years – Never, ever, ever, ever, ever hurt a child.

  13. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Reader Doreen Merrey Siskin writes:

    People lie for money every day ,we dont know this is true ,,you really have it out for Michael Jackson ,,dont you Dianne ,,20 years later ,,wow ,SMH RIP Michael ,,I dont know if its true u did these things ,but in my book you are innocent till proven guilty ,,he cant defend himself he is dead ,,leave the guy alone !!!!!!!!!

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm

      Diane Dimond replies:

      No, Doreen, I really don’t have it out for Michael Jackson. I have a dedication to truth and crime victims.

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm

        Reader Andy Hirsch replies to Doreen Merrey Siskin

        Read her book and you will no doubt walk away knowing the truth! The police records she had access to go into great detail. If he were alive today he would be in jail! No doubt!

  14. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Reader Erika Cornilsen Heckl In the last trial, in my opinion, he was guilty. People forget how pedophiles work. They look for certain things in a victim. Some look for victims that come from broken homes, some from abused and neglected homes or kids that don’t get enough attention from mom or dad and sometimes as happens in most cases, they choose the WORNG victim who will tell someone. It could go on for years before they are caught. In MJ’s case, he was famous so who would ever believe the victim? I do because he and his lawyers tried to pay off the victim in the last trial and the parents turned him down. They wanted justice. Why don’t you “pro-Michael” do your research on pedophiles? First, they groom their victims. They start with a little touching that seems like an accident and then it get’s worse from there until there is finally a rape and that can continue for years or until the child reaches an age when he/she is too old because the perp perverse his victims to be a certain age. If you don’t someone who’s a victim or a survivor, just talk to someone who lives near you. Chances are you will find a survivor near you and if they are willing to talk about it you might learn something. My daughter is an adult survivor of a child molester. You see, he chose the wrong victim. My daughter didn’t come from a broken home, she was told every day how much we loved her and her brother, she wasn’t abused or neglected and most of all, she always happy and guess what? She talked. She told me and more victims were found so don’t ever think MJ must have been not guilty because a jury said so. Jurors are only human they do get the wrong verdict often.

  15. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Reader Janet Mcgrath writes:

    “No one believes you, but I do.”
    These are the words our aunt would tell the abused children that she helped over the many years in family court. She was the first female Superior Court judge in Orange County. Once retired, she was honored when they named the new family courts after her, the Betty Lou Lamoreaux Justice Center. Children need to be believed! I Will read your book Diane.

  16. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Reader AJ Benza writes:

    Way to go, Diane!

  17. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Reader Jeffrey Mitchell writes:

    Why not let the dead rest in peace? Aren’t you a tad concerned that you are trying to cash in after MJ’s death and he is not around to defend himself? Michael married my wife’s long time boss Lisa Marie… We all knew (Including Lisa) that she was marrying him to try to take a bit of heat off from the Santa Barbara prosecutor who “wanted MJ” very badly as his claim to fame for putting him away…What they did to Michael was terrible in terms of the strip searches and things they did to him… Michael was unlike any other…I met him when we were both show biz kids and he was the sweetest person. I Spent time with him in the studio with Freddy Mercury on tracks that finally came out far different then the intended music… Again… People trying, like you, to cash in on two dead stars.. I knew Michael for over 35 years and we would run into each other at Matty’s Tavern.. In the hills behind Montecito off the San Marcos pass. I was at the immense Perkin’s estate and ranch… Some 45 thousand acres of government lease land with only 200 cattle on it… Neverland was just down the road…I remember funny times running into him in dorky Solvang and he was always such a gentleman inviting me and all of my guests and friends back to Neverland…where VERY many people passed through and saw MJ at home and relaxed.. It’s so so sad…MJ was a lovely guy and a real talent.. I ran into him in the alley behind the Rodeo Drive Polo store with his kids just three days before he passed. He was so very very thin and we all remarked that he didn’t look well at all and looked as if he had lost a lot of weight, something that he rid NOT need to do… You (obviously) seem to not mention any of the truly magnanimous things he did for children…and Music. Did you work for the Enquirer? They were expert at this type of dogmatic sensationalism. John Lennon wrote a great song for some of these types titled… “How Do You Sleep At Night”. AJ…I’m surprised with ya on this matter… You know certain types of sensational driven writing.. JM.

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      DD replies:

      >> “Michael was unlike any other…I met him when we were both show biz kids and he was the sweetest person. >>

      And Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian. What does any of that prove?

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:34 pm

        AJ Benza replies to Jeffrey Mitchell :

        You’re just one of the insane people who think he was a jolly, old fella. USE YOUR HEAD! No 35 year old man sleeps with 9 year old boys in beds all over the world. Jesus Christ, let the journalists do our jobs. We record history. Not star-crossed fans who were blinded by his moonwalking. MJ was maybe the greatest entertainer who ever lived. But he was also a sick fuck.

  18. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Reader Eddie Emmons writes;

    He “got away with it” because Americans (and most everyone else too) are mesmerized by FAME….. I say it constantly….if JoeBlow lived next door and wore a full cap wig, a face full of clown makeup and openly said sleeping with young boys is a “beautiful thing” would there be any doubt he was SICK……it was SOOOOO obvious…..and all the crap you endured, Diane…..

  19. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Reader Harry Athanasiadis writes:

    Your are beyond pathetic Diane

    • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      Barbara Jane Sowak replies:

      Ok would u let your kid sleep with a freakish grown man in his bed alone? fine…what DOES that say about you?

      • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:38 pm

        Harry Athanasiadis replies to Barbara Jane Sowak:

        You don’t know nothing he helped cure so many sick children around the world judging someone who cared and did so much what DOES that say about you?
        Don’t believe people that just want money and couldn’t give a shit about MJs amazing legacy or any child he helped

        • Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:39 pm

          Reader Heather Wheelden replies to Harry Athanasiadis:

          Harry, child abusers usually do present as good and benevolent people who care a lot and give a lot of money to children’s hospitals. It is two-fold. Allows them access to children, AND allows them to establish a reputation as only loving children and nothing else. It is called HIDING IN PLAIN SITE.

  20. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Reader Mary Darnell writes:

    It really makes me so sad to hear this, I adored Michael Jackson growing up.. he was just so talented. Makes me wonder what happened in his childhood, was he tormented as well.. I am gonna have to get the book and read up…

  21. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Reader Danja Tešić writes:

    You are a piece of trash.

  22. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Reader Vic Alvarez writes:

    Diane, you are a class act and “we” know the truth.

  23. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Reader Madeline Michele Hovey writes:

    I will think of Michael Jackson like I always have a singer and entertainer I’m not gonna go down a road of a dead man.

  24. Diane Dimond on February 9, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Reader Sue Savio writes:

    Amazing michael jackson, he has to face god if he did this let him rest in peace

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