Michael Jacksons life showed us the journey from abused to abuser | Hadley Freeman

The maltreatment he suffered was devastating but not sexual. Did that help fans believe in his harmless, lost boy persona?, says Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman Jimmy Savile. Harvey Weinstein. R Kelly. Kevin Spacey. We are not exactly short these days of celebrities accused of exploiting their fame to mask predatory behaviour. Yet the Michael Jackson case is different. And thats not just because he is, still, so passionately defended by some including, most recently, Barbra Streisand and whose father notoriously physically abused him, grew up to become himself the most notorious abuser in modern music. Joe Jackson, who finally died last year, was part of a not exactly proud tradition of nightmarish fathers of celebrity families. His one competitor to …

Im shocked by those who still wont accept Michael Jackson as abuser | Dan Reed

The director of Leaving Neverland on the polarised reaction to his landmark film Leaving Neverland has been seen by his many four-hour study of the psychology of child sexual abuse, told through two ordinary families who were groomed for 20 years by a paedophile masquerading as a trusted friend. Its a mask that is often used by predators, whether a priest, a teacher, an uncle. This time the man behind the mask just happened to be Michael Jackson. I had only a foggy idea about all this before starting work on the film. The complex, counter-intuitive and repugnant truths of child sexual abuse that Wade Robson, James Safechuck and their families have courageously unravelled on camera came as a shock …