The late Michael Jackson spent a portion of his career being dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against minor children, and a new documentary examines the case of two men who claim to be victims. Leaving Neverland will make its debut at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
As one of the world’s most celebrated icons, Michael Jackson represents many things to many people—a pop star, a humanitarian, a beloved idol. When allegations of sexual abuse by Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that the King of Pop could be guilty of such unspeakable acts. In separate but parallel stories that echo one another, two boys were each befriended by Jackson, who invited them into his singular and wondrous world. Seduced by the singer’s fairy-tale existence and enthralled by their relationship with him, both boys’ families were blind to the manipulation and abuse that he would ultimately subject them to.
Through gut-wrenching interviews with the now-adult men and their families, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to infiltrate the lives of starstruck children and their parents.
The documentary will debut in the Special Events category.
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Jan. 24 in Utah.