Jackson defender’s stunning about-face
ONE of Michael Jackson's staunchest defenders has revealed he can no longer defend the late singer after explosive allegations of sex abuse aired in new documentary Leaving Neverland.
Corey Feldman, a former child star who was friends with Jackson in his early teens, has for years refuted allegations Jackson sexually molested young boys.
During an appearance on CNN, Feldman stressed that while "absolutely nothing inappropriate" happened between him and Jackson, he could "no longer" stand by the singer.
"I don't want to be perceived as I'm here to defend Michael because I can no longer do that," Feldman told CNN Headline News.
"I cannot in good consciousness defend anyone who's being accused of such horrendous crimes, but at the same time, I'm also not here to judge him because he did not do those things to me and that was not my experience.
"So, therefore, my place is not to be the judge and not to be the accuser and not to be the defender, my job in this is to focus on what's most important, which is helping to reform the statutes of limitations in every state because if we can reform the statutes of limitations, we can prevent things from ever getting to this point."
Feldman said that watching part one of the documentary had prompted some self-reflection on his experiences with Jackson and what the singer's victims allege they went through.
"As I'm watching it, I'm going this doesn't make sense to me, this isn't the guy that I knew," Feldman said.
"But look, I'm a guy that at 14 years old was molested, did have a paedophile completely lie to me about who he was.
"I trusted him. I believed in him as a friend, and I thought he was a good person and then he molested me. It all proves that I'm not the best judge and that's why I shouldn't be the judge in this situation."
After his TV appearance Feldman tweeted it had been one of the hardest interviews he had done and his thoughts were with "all victims" and Jackson's three children.
Feldman has previously claimed he and fellow child star Corey Haim were abused by Hollywood figures, detailing the allegations in 2013 memoir Coreyography.
In Leaving Neverland, Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege they were groomed and abused for years by Jackson after the singer struck up friendships with them and their families.
Leaving Neverland premieres in Australia on Channel 10 in two parts - tonight at 9pm and Saturday 9.30pm. It is also available to stream now on Tenplay.