Boxing champ Mike Tyson has said he would not personally let his eight-year-old child “hang out with Michael Jackson”, while suggesting that the new accusers, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, could be “out for money” as they came forward pressing with their allegations.
“Michael has a reputation of this”, the 52-year-old told Michael Rapaport on the I Am Rapaport podcast, admitting, though, that he loves Jackson.
Tyson even attempted to partially put himself in Jackson’s place, saying:
"It's like some people say, 'Well listen, you're Mike Tyson. I wouldn't let my daughter around you cause you've been to prison for rape'", the heavyweight champion and "Hangover" actor said. "I respect that, I understand that".
“I respect that, I understand that. It’s f***ed, but I understand that, cause I would think the same thing”, the famed boxer said, going on to ponder on parents’ behaviour and saying that “they have to be responsible for that sh*t”.
“I just thought the fact that these kids, Michael is telling them, ‘If anyone knows about this, we’re both gonna go to prison forever’ … it was just really horrible”, he said, admitting, however, that the accusers’ decision to come forward is a mistake.
“What you’re doing now is even wrong. Coming out saying this stuff. It comes across that these are guys just out to get some money”, he added.
In the documentary “Leaving Neverland”, released back in January and then aired in two instalments by the satellite network HBO, Jackson, who was fully acquitted on all of the initial charges in 2005, is anew accused of sexually abusing two little boys in the 1980s and 1990s.
Now grown-up men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege that the King of Pop began molesting them at the peak of his career, when the boys worked side by side with him in the entertainment industry, namely during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial; although during Jackson’s trial, both denied the fact, with Robson even appearing at as a witness for the singer’s defence.
On top of this, both accusers alleged that the singer had intentionally taught them how to cover up their tracks, “not to go to jail for the rest of [their] lives”. What was presented as a documentary hit a nerve with both the general public, who viewed the move as a business by the men meant to cash in on the Jackson heritage and controversy around his personality, as well as the Jackson estate. The latter spoke out on the issue even before the January premiere:
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson”, the Jackson estate’s statement read, adding that the court suit is just a bunch of “uncorroborated allegations”.
Further on, two co-executors of Jackson’s estate and Optimum Productions sued HBO and its parent company, Time Warner, for $100 million over their documentary allegedly violating a non-disparagement clause, People reported, citing court documents that univocally pronounce Michael Jackson as innocent.