Footage of Michael Jackson shopping for jewellery and toys with a young boy has re-emerged.
The news story from 1989 shows Jackson and a boy – presumed to be James Safechuck, one of the accusers speaking out in Leaving Neverland – out shopping in California, according The Mirror.
In the video, Jackson is in a disguise wearing a hat, wig, stick-on moustache and false teeth. At the time, the singer’s disguise alarmed security guards in the shopping centre, which led to the outing being ousted by the media.
The news reporter in the footage states Jackson was out “shopping for rings”, saying later in the segment that the King of Pop was planning to pop the question to Sheryl Crow, his backup singer at the time.
However, given the recent child sexual abuse allegations in Leaving Neverland, the resurfaced footage has led some to rethink the purpose of Jackson’s shopping trip.
In the controversial documentary, Safechuck – who has accused Jackson of child sexual abuse alongside Wade Robson – claims he had a “mock wedding ceremony” with the singer.
“So we were like this married couple,” Safechuck said. “I say married because we had this mock wedding ceremony.
“We did this in his bedroom and we filled out some vows, like we would be bonded forever.”
In the doco, Safechuck showed a “wedding ring” he claimed Jackson gave him in the ceremony.
He also added Jackson knew Safechuck was “really into jewellery”.
“He would reward me with jewellery for doing sexual acts for him,” Safechuck claimed.
It was a way for him to “earn the gift”.
In addition, Safechuck references going on outings with Jackson to jewellery stores to buy rings for him, but they would always “pretend” they were for a woman.
“We would go buy them at jewellery stores and we would pretend they were for someone else,” he says. “Like for a female, but he would pretend like my small hand would fit for whatever female we were buying it for.”
Leaving Neverland has sparked serious debate amongst viewers, with many die-hard Michael Jackson fans claiming the documentary is very one-sided.
While the documentary is certainly a compelling, and in some parts extremely difficult watch, there are some key aspects missing, including testimonials from Jackson’s former staff members, other young boys Jackson was associated with, Jackson’s own family, and the lengthy FBI investigation into the child molestation allegations.
Because of these omissions, the Jackson family, as well as many fans, have continually labelled Leaving Neverland “one-sided” and “biased”.
However the director, Dan Reed, has argued such omissions needed to be made in order to be able to focus on the specific stories of accusers Safechuck and Robson.
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005.
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