'Leaving Neverland' Director Admits Key Details In Accuser's Story Don't Align
The dates of the alleged abuse do not coincide with the time the Neverland station was created where the accusers claim the assault occurred.
April 03, 2019 at 6:20 pm
The director of Leaving Neverland has admitted that he's aware an important detail described in his movie may be false, causing an upheaval of criticism.
The Daily Mail reports Dan Reed, documentarian of the controversial Leaving Neverland, has confirmed the timeline of one of the accusers' stories does not align with the physical layout of the Neverland location where he claims Michael Jackson assaulted him.
The documentary, named after Jackson's famed Neverland ranch, alleges that the superstar musician used his vast estate to cover up sexual abuse performed on visitors Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
In the documentary and previous interviews, Safechuck specifically accused Jackson of assaulting him in his Neverland train station from 1988 to 1992, ending at the age of 14. But Jackson's Making Michael book biographer, Mike Smallcombe, challenged Reed on the fact, stating the station was not created in the timespan he claims to have been assaulted.
Sharing an image of the construction permit on Twitter, Smallcombe confirmed the Santa Barbara County document proves that Jackson's Neverland was not approved for construction until September 2, 1993.
In the last couple of hours I’ve been given access to the Santa Barbara County construction permits for the Neverland train station by my source – approved Sept 2, 1993 pic.twitter.com/xjtfvEvsUu
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 30, 2019
The picture below was taken on August 25, 1993. The train station wasn’t there (top of image). Work on the floral clock had started.
The construction of the actual building was approved by Santa Barbara County on September 2, 1993 (see below).
End of discussion. pic.twitter.com/ycOTKw0Vj5
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) April 2, 2019
Dan Reed responded to Smallcombe's proof, writing, "Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse."
Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 31, 2019
Reed now claims the dates were indeed incorrect but asserts the abuse still occurred.
"Safechuck was at Neverland after the train station was completed," he later tweeted. "He even took photos of the station, we put two of these in the film. And he’s clear in the documentary that the sexual contact with Jackson continued into his teens."
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Still, many are questioning Reed's intentions, asking why this basic information was not researched and challenged during the documentary process.
Complex reports Smallcombe isn't taking Reed's lack of journalistic integrity lightly.
"Suddenly the end of Safechuck’s abuse was when he was 16/17 rather than 14," he reportedly wrote. "It’s a three year discrepancy. Just hold your hands up, don’t change the story. This is what happens when you don’t investigate properly."
Other journalists doing due diligence have chimed in, as well, stating Smallcombe's claims make it factually impossible to prove the alleged assault.
Safechuck’s own sworn declaration from his ongoing lawsuit makes no mention of him ever visiting Neverland after 1992/3. He only testifies to seeing Jackson in Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Budapest and New Jersey.
— Charles Thomson (@CEThomson) March 31, 2019
And Smallcombe's challenges don't end with Safechuck's disputed claims; he also says Robson's story doesn't hold up to the facts, either.
"Wade Robson told a detailed story of how he claimed he was abused for the first time," Smallcombe continued on Twitter. "How his family left him at Neverland alone, and went to the Grand Canyon."
"This can now be proven as false. Yet he was able to tell it to the world, without any scrutiny."
Smallcombe presented two pieces of evidence: a 1993 deposition and a 2016 deposition in which Robson's mother detailed that the entire family, including Robson, went on the family trip in which he claims Jackson assaulted him for the first time.
First image: Joy Robson's 1993 deposition, confirming her family went away to the Grand Canyon, and that Wade hadn't been alone at Neverland until that year (1993)
Second image: Joy Robson's 2016 deposition, she again confirms her 'whole family' including Wade went to the Canyon pic.twitter.com/fck6wE5yka
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 30, 2019
Express also reports that Robson had to ask his mother over 20 questions about what he and Michael Jackson did during their first time together on his ranch, as he could not remember. In the documentary, however, Robson reported that he was abused each time he visited Michael and recalled each encounter.
The publication also confirmed Smallcombe's claim that one of the two accusers' cases was thrown out of court by a judge, stating, “no rational trier of fact could possibly believe his sworn statements.”
Smallcombe made it clear that his intention is not to vindicate Jackson but, as a journalist, to present all of the facts in an attempt to unearth the truth.
"I’m not saying: ‘MJ needs to declared innocent right now,'" he shared. "I’ve just made the national media aware of facts about these accusers — from court documents, not my opinion — which they and the documentary totally ignored."
Following the controversial HBO documentary, Michael Jackson's estate has taken several hits, including having his music pulled from radio stations and his vocals stripped from Drake's UK tour, as Blavity reported.
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