“At the end of the day, people are only going to believe what it is that they want to believe, or what they’re ready to believe.” ~ Wade Robson
Wade Robson filed a complaint in 1st of May 2013 against Michael Jackson saying he had sexually abused him for seven years. From the age of seven to the age of 14. This was a shocking statement to most people as Wade had been staunchly defending Michael Jackson on many occasions in the past.
In 1993 around the Chandler allegations there was a TV-interview where Wade still a child (as well as his sister and mother) admitted to sharing beds with Jackson on many occasions but said nothing ever happened beyond playing and other childlike activities. Even stranger he would be a star witness and defend Michael in the 2005 child molestation trial and has sometimes even been cited as one of greatest reasons to Jackson being acquitted. Wade was 23 years old at this point.
Eight years later in 2013 on NCB with Matt Lauer he would for the first time come out and tell what happened to him.
For those who think child sexual abuse is always comparable to a violent rape in a back alley might find Wade «suddenly realizing” he was sexually abused at the age 31 very hard to understand, but this is sadly a recognizable situation for many victims of child sexual abuse.
Wade Robson is a good example. He loved Michael Jackson. It was his child idol. He would learn all the dances of Michael Jackson, and won a Michael Jackson dance competition. The prize was getting to meet Michael Jackson. Later he would become a mentor and long time friend. He was someone who perhaps influenced and shaped his career as a dancer and as a director. He was also someone who had a secret with Wade. One they never could tell anyone, or both of their careers would be over and they both would have to go to jail. Michael Jackson said the world outside wouldn’t understand it was an expression of love.
Wade Robson had two major nervous breakdowns as an adult, and he had problems working while he had many things going for him. Wade didn’t understand what was wrong with him at first. He also became a father and started getting visions of Michael Jackson doing what he did to his son like he did to Wade as a child, and. Through therapy he started to finally be able to talk about what happened between him and Michael. A secret he had never told to anyone and had planned taking to the grave. He slowly understood through the eyes of an adult it wasn’t ‘love’, as Michael had brainwashed him to think. If it would be child sexual abuse if it happened to his son it would also be child sexual abuse if it happened to Wade.
Watch Leaving Neverland for better understanding, which can be seen on HBO or on DVD. Here Wade Robson (as well as James Safechuck) goes in painful length how everything happened. The show Oprah made “After Neverland” is also recommended for further discussion on the topic, as well as the interview on CBC where some other common questions are asked.
Wade Robson on NBC with Matt Lauer in 2013
Commentary by body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass
Wade Robson complaint
Leaving Neverland (2019)
“After Neverland” with Oprah Winfrey
Video Interview with Wade, James and Dan Reed on BBC News March 2 2019
Video Interview with James and Wade on CBS News March 2 2019
Interview with Vanity Fair, February 21 2019
Interview with Rolling Stones Magazine, March 1 2019
Interview with Wade and James Buzzfeed, March 3 2019
Interview with Billboard, March 21 2019
Wade’s Window (Wade’s Blog)
“Break To Heal” – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 (Wade’s story of realizing his sexual abuse from his blog )
A Message To Those Who Hate Me (Wade message to those who hate him from his blog)
Common objections to Wade Robson
The Michael Jackson defenders has been good at digging up most of Wade Robson’s positive comments about Michael Jackson through his life, and they are all collected neatly in most rebuttals and fan documentaries against Wade Robson. Its a fair question, and on first glance it might be confusing. However, all of this is explained in detail by Wade Robson in the documentary Leaving Neverland.
This is from Wade’s complaint on why Wade (“plaintiff») says he didn’t say anything in 1993 when the Jordan Chandler allegations broke loose. Wade Robson was 11 year old at the time.
A child keeping quiet is one thing though, its far more challenging to understand Wade Robson when he got older (23 years old), and why he would defend Michael Jackson on his big child molestation trial 2005 when another boy was accusing Michael Jackson.
Additionally Wade Robson talks in depth about it in the BBC Interview (2019). Why he defended him in 1993 (20:27) and why he defended him in 2005 (23:13).
Also, please read this article from Psychology Now:
“Why adult victims of childhood sexual abuse don’t disclose.“
Wade Robson never actually said he had repressed memory in any complaint, nor in an interview or anywhere else.
When he had his first interview on Matt Lauer in 2013 it was the first thing he wanted to make clear, because it had been reported wrongly by media covering his case. This was not repressed memory. Wade always remembered the abuse. He just didn’t understand it as abuse until he got older, and .
Where did the rumor come from that he said he had a “repressed memory”?
It seems to have come from TMZ, who was one of the first media outlets who wrote about Wade Robson coming forward. We don’t know for sure but it was likely assumed by TMZ because Wade Robson had defended Michael Jackson as an adult before and said he had come to a realization it was abuse through therapy. TMZ probably made an assumption Wade suddenly had “remembered it” through therapy. This was never Wade’s own story and not really fair to hold against him.
The reason why Wade Robson testified for the defense in 2005 in the first place was because the prosecution (the police in Santa Barbara) at this point had testimonies from witnesses who had worked on Neverland claiming they saw Wade Robson being molested by Michael Jackson at Neverland as a child. Three of these were Blanca Francia, Mark Quindoy and Charlie Michaels. Maid Blanca Francia had already testified at the trial she had seen Wade Robson in the shower with Michael Jackson at his bedroom. This was damning testimony.
Wade Robson was therefore in a unique position to say these witnesses were liars and could put the prosecution in its place, so obviously his testimony in defense of Jackson would be incredibly powerful for the defense. According to Wade Robson Michael Jackson had called him trying to get him to testify nothing had ever happened. As Wade didn’t consider himself a victim of sexual child abuse of Michael Jackson at this point (see his story above), and additionally didn’t want to see Michael Jackson to go to jail Wade agreed on defending Michael Jackson.
It was a success for the defense and Michael Jackson that he did, because if he did it rebutted Blanca Francia’s story and it also would back up the defense accusation toward Francia and other witnesses that their stories couldn’t be trusted and had monetary or otherwise dubious motivation.
Wade Robson’s testimony wasn’t only a success though. During cross examination Wade Robson was pushed quite touch by prosecutor Ron Zonen (who probably assumed Wade was lying) where Wade admitted he wouldn’t let children sleep in bed with someone who owned some of the child erotic material (“Boys Will Be Boys») shown to him which the police had picked up from Michaels bedroom during a raid.
How could Michael Jackson know Wade would defend him?
Well, it was established prior in their numerous phone conversations, and through Wade’s conversations with the defense team, and through the trust and bond he had with Michael at that point. He and his mother and sister was also actually staying at Neverland during his testimony. That Wade would suddenly flip and change on the stand against Michael was unlikely… but who knows what went on inside Michael Jackson’s head minutes before Wade Robson coming into the court room.
According to Wade he wasn’t acting anyway. He genuinely didn’t think see himself as sexually abused, so he didn’t try to fool Mesereau or Ross.
Its a fair argument that he still knew he had sex with Michael Jackson even if he didn’t consider it abuse, so why didn’t he admit to that? Well, Wade was not stupid. On some level he probably still understood how it would be taken by people if he said that. He had also been drilled and brainwashed by Jackson since he was seven year old he had to keep that a secret or both of their careers would end forever. These things are complex, but if you find it incredible please know Wade Robson is not the first victim of child sexual abuse who has defended his abuser on stand.
Michael Jackson’s gatekeepers has a quite fantastic version of Wade’s story.
What is the claim?
Jackson’s defenders argue Wade Robson first loved Michael Jackson and saw him as his friend/mentor/childhood hero just like he always did, but when he lost his chance of being a director for the Michael Jackson themed musical show “Cirque De Soleil” in 2011 he got incredibly bitter. In fact so bitter he suddenly got the idea that if he turned on his old friend (who he first wanted to make a tribute to) and said Michael Jackson molested him as a child he could get millions of dollars from his estate and so he did.
In the popular social media rebuttal “Michael Jackson and Wade Robson: The Real Story” by MichaelJacksonAllegations released prior to Leaving Neverland (and also went viral getting over 2 million hits) this is the main narrative. We’ve also seen John Branca from the Michael Jackson estate say the same thing.
Is there something to it?
Its difficult to know how to respond to this as its such a surreal and cynical claim to accuse someone of making false child sexual abuse claims just for not getting a job.
Its not true anyway. Wade Robson already had the directing role of the Cirque De Soleil show. Here is Wade Robson’s comment: “It’s just completely inaccurate. I was hired three times for that show because it kept taking different iterations. And the third time was just preceding my second nervous breakdown. I was in between nervous breakdowns. So the third time, as I was crumbling and falling apart, I removed myself from the project. The accusation is completely false.” ~ Wade Robson
Wade Robson already had the directing role of the Cirque De Soleil show, but because of his nervous breakdown (which he didn’t understand at the time, but later connected as a result of his abuse from Michael) as well as juggling directing a feature movie (“Step Up 4”) and having a child, he was the one who told the arrangers of the show he wasn’t able to move forward with directing the Cirque De Soleil show.
Where does this myth come from?
Through the process of the Cirque De Soleil show Wade contacted the producers and apologized for removing himself and said he wanted to direct the show again, and that e-mail has leaked online, and that’s the one the Michael Jackson fans take out of context and has used against Wade.
Why she’s not included in the Leaving Neverland is a question to ask the director Dan Reed, but one reason could actually have been in respect to Brandi Jackson not get dragged into a negative documentary about her uncle. The other reason is more obvious. Who Wade dated has little to no relevance to if he was molested by Michael Jackson or not.
This is how Michael Jackson’s defenders reply to this:
“Well, the documentary Leaving Neverland portrays Michael Jackson as someone who is overprotective and didn’t want his victims to to see other girls. Michael was (supposedly) the one presenting Brandi to Wade. Thats why it contradicts the story presented in Leaving Neverland!”
This is mixing up the story of James Safechuck with Wade Robson’s story. Michael supposedly didn’t like it when James Safechuck got a “crush” on one of his backup singers Sheryl Crow. According to James Michael Jackson tried to show him unflattering pictures of her without makeup since he was clearly jealous. There’s also similar stories like this with Jordan Chandler. With Wade Robson the story was a little different however. Wade’s story was that while Michael Jackson was crazy about him at first he eventually was pushed aside when other boys came into the picture taking his place. Michael was more occupied with other boys, although sometimes coming back to Wade and sexually abusing him despite not being his favorite anymore. Wade never actually at any point in the documentary say Michael tried to hold him away from girls. Its understandable Brandi wants to defend her uncle, but nothing she has said is problematic for Wade Robson’s story.
An increasingly popular argument coming out of the pro-Jackson camp is that Wade Robson is contradicting his own story about the first time the sexual abuse with Michael Jackson started. It has been present in the two anti-Leaving Neverland documentaries “Chase The Truth” as well as the “Lies Of Leaving Neverland” — and we assume we’ll see more of it.
What is the argument?
We’ll just quote verbatim what is said in the “Lies Of Leaving Neverland» which is available on youtube for free. (Timestamp 8:37)
Narrator: “Leaving Neverland contradicts the alleged victims own sworn depositions. In the video Wade Robson spends a dramatic tale of being left alone in 1990 with Michael Jackson at Neverland. Robson claims that while his family was hundreds of miles away at the Grand Canyon Michael Jackson abused him for the first time. But thats not the story Robson told in his lawsuit against Jackson’s companies, or in the deposition under penalty of perjury just months before HBO’s cameras began rolling. There he claims his family was still at Neverland when it first happened, and his sister was sleeping upstairs in Michaels room. Two entirely different versions of events told by Wade Robson. Just two months apart.
Footage of Wade talking in his 2016 deposition: “First night prior we both slept in the bed of Michael. Then at some point the second night she said to me I think we should — you and I should really sleep upstairs. I don’t know why she said or why she thought that, but I didn’t want to. So yes, so then I — whenever it was bedtime she went upstairs, and Michael and I stayed in the bed downstairs and I believe at some point that night the abuse started.”
Narrator: “So which is it? The version Wade Robson tells in his sworn deposition or his version in Leaving Neverland? If he changes stories in two months before the cameras, how can you trust him at all?»
Basically, the question is when Wade Robson was sexually abused the first time. Was it the second night at Neverland the first weekend, or did it start right after the family went to Grand Canyon while he was alone with Michael Jackson for a week.
Is it an important inconsistency to begin with?
Its ‘business as usual’ of the Michael Jackson fan community to search and try to locate even the smallest inconsistency of an accuser and blow it up and out of proportions like everything they ever said stands or falls on this claim.
For any person with a fair mind it wouldn’t be seen as deeply critical or problematic that Wade is unsure about something that happened when he was only seven years old and the discrepancy of the event is literally a day or two.
What did Wade say?
Wade has told his stories a few times. The difference is not very dramatic. The description of the actual abuse is always the same for example, but he seemed have been vague about when exactly when the sexual abuse started.
In his September 2016 complaint he explains it like this. Basically the second night before the family going to Grand Canyon.
As the “Lies Of Leaving Neverland” shows Wade seems to say something similar to his complaint in his December 2016 deposition. However in the same deposition he actually also says he believes the abuse started the first night after the family went away to Grand Canyon for the week.
So he actually says both things in the 12/12 2016 deposition (within the same day).
The issue is likely that he did not remember clearly but was trying to remember. This was 30 years ago and within a timeframe over 7 years of sexual abuse. Wade also states he does not really remember in the deposition, which seems consistent.
After the deposition story Wade has consistenly told he believed the abuse started the first or second night after his family went to Grand Canyon and left him alone with Michael Jackson. In the Leaving Neverland documentary he is also telling the story that it happened afterwards, and he does the same in his CBS Interview with Gayle King.
From CBS Interview with Gayle King
“So the intense friendship with Michael started when I was about seven. […] So when we met the second time I was seven years old Michael invited us to Neverland that weekend. I think it was a Friday that we met initially. […] And that first night Michael took us on a little bit of a tour and he said to me and my sister. “You know you can stay in one of the guest rooms, or you can stay in here with me if you want.” My reaction was “Of course I wanna stay with you.” And I think we all kind of knocked out at some point. Nothing particular happened that night. We had one more night that way. And then the plan was the Monday that me and the family was going to leave and go on another vacation to the Grand Canyon. I was devastated to leave Michael. Michael was devastated for me to leave — he actually sobbed in front of me. So I got to stay, so it was just Michael and I in Neverland for the next week. And then even within the first or second night of Michael and me being alone at Neverland the night started changing, and one of the ways I remember it changing was Michael just starting to touch my leg, and touch my crotch over my pants, and it kind of kept progressing from there.
Its unfortunate Wade Robson has to be punished for not remembering accurately and exactly something that happened when he was seven years old. We’re in actuality just talking a day or two in difference.
To quote Oprah Winfrey:
“I’ve had girls at my school who were sexually assaulted and abused. And I have never won a case. The reason I have never won a case is because when you put a girl on the witness stand, and she can’t remember was it Thursday or Wednesday, it’s automatically discredited. When you’re in the midst of trauma, and terrible things happening to you, you might not remember the time. If you can’t remember the day and the time, everybody’s like, ‘Well okay, I guess it never happened.’” ~ Oprah Winfrey
“In so many survivors’ cases they’re not believed. They’re discredited, they’re shamed, by the perpetrator or people surrounding the perpetrator. And they’re revictimized over and over again.» ~ Wade Robson