Michael Jackson accusers slam Dave Chappelle for mocking their claims
James Safechuck and Wade Robson have both condemned comedian Dave Chappelle for dismissing their allegations in the "Leaving Neverland" documentary that they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson.
The 46-year-old comedian included a section in his new Netflix stand-up special "Sticks and Stones" about Dan Reed's HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland" in which he suggests the pair both fabricated their allegations about the late King of Pop.
In the show, he says: "I don't believe these motherf**kers."
Chappelle then went to joke if their claims were true then they should have known that Michael wouldn't have lavished them with his time and gifts unless he was getting something in return.
He concluded his Jackson gags by joking about the "Thriller" hitmaker's friendship with 'Home Alone' actor Macaulay Culkin, who has always maintained that he shared a long and wonderful friendship with Michael and that nothing sexual ever occurred between them.
Chappelle quipped said: "You know ... I'm not a paedophile. But if I was ... Macaulay Culkin's the first kid I'm f***ing, I'll tell you that right now. I'd be a goddamn hero. 'Hey, that guy over there f***ed the kid from 'Home Alone'. And you know hard he is to catch.' "
Safechuck has now spoken out about Chappelle's dismissal of his account of abuse at the hands of Michael and insists it is behaviour like this by adults that will stop children being abused now from coming forward with their truth.
Speaking to TMZ, he said: "I'm heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse. I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can't let this type of behaviour silence us. Together we are strong."
Robson also criticised him, adding: "He can say whatever he wants. It reveals him, not us."
Robson's lawyer Vince Finaldi was far stronger in his criticism of Chappelle, insisting he is attacking two sexual abuse survivors in a bid to "resurrect his career".
Also speaking to TMZ, Finaldi said: "Although Mr. Chappelle is entitled to his opinions, however misinformed they may be, it's unfortunate that he has chosen to use his platform to shame sexual abuse victims, and spread his ignorance of sexual abuse and the way it is perpetrated upon children, in an attempt to resurrect his career."
Since 'Sticks and Stones' began streaming Michael's nephew Taj Jackson - whose father is Jackson Five member Tito Jackson - took to Twitter to praise Chappelle for having the courage to publicly tackle the narrative presented in 'Leaving Neverland'.
The "Billie Jean" hitmaker's estate has also supported the comedian's remarks, branding Michael's two accusers as "damn liars".
In a statement, John Branca - co-executor of the estate - said: "We agree with Dave Chappelle - these guys are damn liars. After years of exploiting Michael's generosity, they waited until he was gone and unable to defend himself before accusing him. They did this in secrecy.
They did not do any independent investigation. They interviewed only two guys out of the thousands who visited Neverland - oh, and surprise surprise - they are the only two with lawsuits for hundreds of millions of dollars. Why wasn't their financial interest disclosed? The whole documentary is bogus. Robson and Safechuck are liars and they know the truth, which is why Dave's comedy touched a nerve."
Safechuck and James and Robson claimed in the two-part film that they were abused by Michael at his Neverland ranch and on tour with him after they were befriended by the pop superstar as children.
Wade alleged he was sexually abused by Michael from the age of seven until 14, while James claimed he was a victim from the age of 10 until he hit puberty.