MICHAEL Jackson was the real victim in Leaving Neverland, his family claims as they file £80million lawsuit to stop the documentary from airing on Channel 4 next month.
Keith Jackson, 55, has hit out at the explosive documentary that alleges the King of Pop was a predatory paedophile featuring the claims from two accusers.
Channel 4 is set to air the documentary next month, but Jackson’s estate has filed a multi-million-pound lawsuit against HBO to try and stop it the screening.
Keith defends his cousin to the Mirror claiming the singer “feared for his life” over similar allegations.
He claims Jackson once told him that people were after him.
Keith said the allegation have a had profound effect on his family including Prince, 22, Paris, 20, and Price “Blanket” Michael III, 17, and his mum Katherine, 87.
He said: “The family are really upset because their dad was already proven innocent.
“Michael loved kids, he loved his own kids and he loved kids in general like he did his own.
“But instead of Hollywood doing something positive, they instead, once again, had to come out with a completely derogatory and hurtful film.”
‘HE FEARED FOR HIS LIFE’
The four-hour two-part documentary has not been released in the UK yet, but its upcoming broadcast is set to devastating.
It will bring up memories from Jackson’s high-profile court case when he was cleared of abusing then 13-year-old cancer survivor Gavin Arvizo in 2005.
Jackson was acquitted on all nine counts of child molestation.
Leaving Neverland features accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were abused as youngsters at this ranch.
Keith, whose father Luther was the brother of Jackon’s dad Joe, believes the accusers would not have come forward if Jackson was still alive.
Keith said if he didn’t “think this would be an issue right now” if his cousin didn’t die.
Jackson died aged 50 after suffering an overdose of the surgical anaesthetic Propofol.
Robson, now 36, claims in the film he was abused from the age of seven after meeting the pop star in a lookalike competition.
He claims he was molested at Neverland Ranch by Jackson.
He says the abuse went on for seven years, and alleges two Jackson firms were used to lure kids.
Safechuck met Jackson aged nine when he appeared in Pespi commercial with the singer in 1987.
The former boy companion of Jacko – who was by the star’s side for much of his Bad tour – accused the singer of molesting him nearly 100 times in a lawsuit in 2015.
Court docs claim the pair regularly shared a bed while the powerful celebrity used code words for sex.
Safechuck then aged 10, joined Jackson on his Bad tour in June of 1987 where he travelled around the world with the superstar.
Despite having no relation to Jackson, there was no public controversy around pictures of a little boy holding hands with the grown man, then aged 30, while attending events in locations such as Paris and Tokyo.
Safechuck and Robson have both previously testified under oath that he had never acted inappropriate.
Jackson’s estate has filed a lawsuit against HBO claiming the channel signed a “non-disparagement clause” when they aired Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour in 1992.
The lawsuit also claims the accusers are after money.
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The singer’s family has called the allegations “absolutely false” and say filmmaker Dan Reed never contacted the family for comment.
However, HBO said in a statement: “HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”
Channel 4 bosses have also said it will still show the documentary on March 6 and 7.
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