The release of the explosive Leaving Neverland documentary has thrust accusations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson back into the spotlight.
And while the King of Pop was never criminally convicted, five men now allege they were groomed, abused and manipulated by Jackson as children in the 1990s.
In light of the accusations, Yahoo Lifestyle has rounded up six of the most harrowing facts surrounding Jackson’s alleged abuse towards boys Jordan Chandler, Jason Francia, Gavin Arvizo, Wade Robson, and Jimmy Safechuck.
Michael Jackson once said he thought there was nothing wrong with sharing his bed with boys
A decade after the initial accusations, the release of the Living With Michael Jackson documentary in 2003 reignited the public’s disdain towards Jackson’s behaviour around children.
Among his most worrying quips was the admission that he had “slept in a bed with many children” – and saw nothing wrong with the practise.
“It’s not sexual, we’re going to sleep. I tuck them in… It’s very charming, it’s very sweet,” he said in the documentary.
Asked in 2003 what a grown man would get out of a relationship with a young boy, Jackson explained: “I love, I feel, I think what they get from me I get from them…. my greatest inspiration comes from kids.”
The hallway leading to Jackson’s bedroom was laden with security measures
One of the Neverland Ranch’s endless baffling quirks was how the hallway leading to Jackson’s bedroom was covered by security cameras.
An additional security measure saw the area wired for sound so that the steps of anyone approaching would make ding-dong sounds – which would notify the singer of anyone approaching.
Gavin Arvizo, whose accusations led to the 2005 trial, also claimed the corridor to Jackson’s bedroom was alarmed, which Macaulay Culkin later confirmed was true.
“There was like a walkway kind of thing, where if someone was approaching the door, it would kind of like ‘ding-dong ding-dong’,” Culkin stated.
“When anyone would approach the room you’d hear this kind of… soft kind of alarm.”
One boy could correctly identify the markings on the underside of Jackson’s penis
In 1993, Jordan Chandler drew a picture of the markings on the underside of Jackson’s penis for police and his drawings were sealed in an envelope.
Months later, Jackson was subjected to a police strip search where authorities photographed his penis to compare it to a description given by Jordan – and they matched.
In a 1995 interview with Diane Sawyer, Jackson said, “The police photographs that they took of me, there was nothing that matched me to those charges, nothing. That’s why I’m sitting here talking to you today.” When probed about the markings, he replied, “no markings, no”.
However, police declared in 2005 that Jordan’s knowledge of Jackson’s body “could only have been acquired in the course of a close and intimate relationship with (him).”
Michael Jackson paid out millions of dollars in damages to the boys who said he abused them
Jordan Chandler was the first boy to publicly accuse Jackson of abuse to police, after his father became suspicious about his son and the star’s close relationship.
However, the criminal investigation stalled when a separate civil suit was filed and was settled confidentially.
But court documents leaked to the media in 2004 revealed the payout included a USD$15 million trust fund for then 13-year-old Jordan, and $2 million up-front, along with $1.5 million for each of his parents, and $5 million for their lawyer.
The settlement meant the criminal case against Jackson could not be taken further due to an apparent lack of victims willing to testify.
The parents of the alleged victims were given expensive gifts including houses and cars
The special treatment Jackson afforded to his alleged victim’s families is detailed throughout the Leaving Neverland documentary.
In addition to limo rides and trips on private jets, Jordie Chandler’s mother was reportedly flown to Monaco and Las Vegas and received a diamond bracelet.
Similarly, Jackson bought Jimmy Safechuck’s parents a house and Wade Robson’s mother a car – something not mentioned in the documentary.
Two of the boys’ fathers took their own lives
Wade Robson and Jordan Chandler’s fathers took their own lives while estranged from their families, after allegations of Jackson allegedly abusing their sons came to light.
In Leaving Neverland, Wade reveals his father Dennis had bipolar and took his own life in 2002 following a mental breakdown.
And while Wade always maintained to his father he had not been molested, a 2013 civil suit against the Jacksons claimed Dennis suffered from ‘anxiety and depression’ because he suspected his son had been abused.
In contrast, Evan Chandler was instrumental in ensuring Jackson’s alleged abuse against his son Jordan came to light, but their family fell apart after the multi-million dollar payout.
The pair fell-out in 2005 and Evan ended his life in November 2009 – five months after Jackson’s own death was plastered across the world’s media.
For support on child abuse you can call The Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380.