In 2003, the “King of Pop” gave a strange, on-brand performance in “Living With Michael Jackson,” a 90-minute television special hosted by the British journalist Martin Bashir. Part documentary, part “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” this program seemed to demonstrate just how out of touch with reality Jackson was. Among other things, he insisted that he’d only had two cosmetic surgeries in his life — a claim that seemed silly at best, even to a lifelong M.J. fan like me.
Then there was a 13-year-old boy whom Jackson had befriended. The boy defended sleeping in the singer’s bed at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, at one point in the interview resting his head on Jackson’s shoulder as the star declared, “The most loving thing to do is share your bed with someone.”
For some, this rang alarm bells; months after the special aired, the police began a criminal investigation, which led to Jackson’s being charged on several counts, including child molestation involving the 13-year-old.
But in 2005, a jury found him not guilty in a trial in which the former child star Macaulay Culkin and another witness named Wade Robson testified that they had spent many nights with Jackson and had not been abused. It was easy for many fans to categorize that uneasy conversation from “Living With Michael Jackson” not as criminal, but as just another example of the singer’s disconnect.
That isn’t possible for me anymore. I came away from “Leaving Neverland,” a new two-part HBO documentary in which Robson and James Safechuck accuse Jackson of having molested them when they were children, fully convinced by their stories. (The 13-year-old did not participate in the documentary, but his presence looms over it in news footage and as a figure Robson says he now wishes he could have been a “comrade” to during the trial.)
A subsequent rewatch of that conversation with Bashir left me feeling mortified, in a way I probably should have felt long ago.
Perhaps even more difficult to digest than the very explicit details of the abuse Robson and Safechuck describe in “Neverland” are the indelible effects that persisted into adulthood. In “Living With Michael Jackson,” the way Jackson speaks about the physical abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his father, Joseph, only lends more credence to Robson’s and Safechuck’s stories. The three seemed to process their individual traumas in similar ways.
Since January, when “Leaving Neverland” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, Jackson’s superfans, his family and his estate have tried to poke holes in Safechuck’s and Robson’s stories. During an interview with Gayle King that aired last week, Michael’s brother Marlon wondered, “If Neverland was so horrifying” for Robson and Safechuck, “why would you keep going back?”
[Michael Jackson’s fans are tenacious. | Our critic Wesley Morris reviews the documentary.]
“Leaving Neverland” answers that question compellingly. In Part 2, Robson recalls the strong emotional bond toward Jackson he still felt as an adult, a closeness cemented when he was 7 and first met the star. Robson, 22 at the time of the trial, says in the film he was “excited at the idea of being able to defend him and being able to save him.” He says he had nightmares of seeing Jackson in jail, and adds that he wasn’t yet ready to see himself as a victim.
“I still loved him deeply,” said Robson. And as his wife, Amanda, says in “Leaving Neverland,” “Love is powerful.”
In discussing patterns of abuse in relationships, many psychologists and researchers point out that victims commonly do not recognize their abuse as what it is and remain close to those who hurt them. Jackson showered Safechuck and Robson with attention and presented himself as a child trapped in a grown man’s body. When such an intimate relationship is established, as Safechuck and Robson say was the case with Jackson, the memories of happier feelings can overwhelm the toxic ones.
In countering Robson and Safechuck’s claims in “Neverland,” Marlon and others in the Jackson family gravitate toward the idea that children who were actually abused by Michael would not maintain a long-term relationship with him. Paradoxically, many Jackson siblings have long undermined their own argument, sticking by their notoriously violent and controlling father in public. For decades, stories of the physical and mental harm Joseph inflicted on his children have been integral to the Jacksons’ own family mythos, often cited as the key to their success.
Understanding of how corporal punishment affects children has largely evolved across generations, and many today consider it a form of abuse. Joseph’s methods certainly seemed to cross a boundary. In “Living With Michael Jackson,” Michael describes being hit with belts, electrical cords, “whatever was around.”
He tells Bashir that he and his siblings were “terrified” by the mere presence of Joseph, and he admitted to having a “strong hate” for him. In an interview with Piers Morgan from 2011, Michael’s sister Janet remembered being younger than 8 when Joseph hit her. In 1991, their sister LaToya Jackson caused a stir when she said she had been sexually abused by Joseph.
Although they have acknowledged the trauma, some of the siblings — including Janet in her self-help book “True You”— have defended Joseph as being “old-school,” and like any other parent of that “spare the rod, spoil the child” era. Janet confessed to Morgan that she wished her relationship with her father had been different, yet she added, “I know that he loves me.”
During her tour last summer, she dedicated her song “Together Again” to Joseph, who died in June 2018. LaToya remembered their father in part by saying she was “extremely appreciative” of the way he “disciplined us.” Michael told Bashir: “I totally forgive him for all of it. You have to.”
That discussion of Jackson’s childhood might be the most honest moment in the bizarre Bashir special. When Jackson is asked to recall what it was like to be subjected to Joseph’s beatings, the camera zooms closer on his face. He tenses up, letting out an uncomfortable chuckle as he briefly looks away.
Jackson winces. He describes his father as presiding over rehearsals with a belt in his hand, and hitting the brothers with it if they missed a dance step.
“He would tear you up,” Jackson says, adding that it made all of the siblings “nervous.”
“How often would he beat you?” Bashir asks.
Jackson winces again, answering softly, “Too much.” The pop star’s pain is palpable and raw; a childhood cut short is evident.
The internalized shame and disconnect Jackson showed with Bashir — he seems to suggest that calling his father’s actions abuse is wrong — were mirrored in what Robson and Safechuck said.
Held up together, the testimonies of all three make it even easier for me to believe Robson and Safechuck’s stories about Michael. Years later, their pain in “Leaving Neverland” is also palpable and raw.
“It still feels shameful,” Safechuck reveals in the final minutes of the documentary. “I still have — feelings that it was my fault.”
As he says this, his mannerisms echo Jackson’s — the same wince, the same pain of having to relive a distressing time in his life.B:
【摆】【弄】【时】【间】【线】，【是】【一】【件】【极】【其】【挑】【战】【普】【通】【人】【认】【知】【能】【力】【的】【事】【情】。 【行】【走】【在】【堪】【称】【敌】【方】【大】【本】【营】【的】【研】【究】**【之】【中】，【迪】【亚】【波】【罗】【看】【着】【周】【围】【不】【同】【时】【间】【线】【重】【叠】【所】【展】【现】【出】【的】【乱】【象】，【心】【底】【思】【绪】【悠】【远】。 【完】【成】【觉】【醒】【仪】【式】【的】【绯】【红】【之】【王】，【原】【本】【残】【缺】【的】【时】【间】【削】【除】【能】【力】【被】【极】【大】【的】【补】【完】，【每】【时】【每】【刻】【都】【在】【加】【速】【燃】【烧】【的】【未】【来】，【换】【来】【的】【是】【对】【力】【量】【自】【由】【自】【在】【的】【支】【配】【与】【运】【用】
【小】【女】【孩】：“【光】【头】【叔】【叔】，【这】【个】【问】【题】【到】【底】【该】【怎】【么】【解】【呀】？” 【解】，【很】【数】【学】【的】【用】【语】。【当】【然】【也】【是】【弗】【斯】【的】【杰】【作】。 【他】【现】【在】【每】【停】【留】【一】【地】，【都】【会】【多】【留】【一】【日】【半】【日】，【来】【跟】【村】【子】【里】【的】【人】【主】【要】【是】【小】【孩】【讲】【一】【讲】【数】【学】【知】【识】。 【不】【要】【怀】【疑】【对】【泥】【腿】【子】【及】【未】【来】【的】【泥】【腿】【子】【教】【数】【学】【是】【否】【有】【用】。【有】【用】，【非】【常】【有】【用】！【弗】【斯】【上】【一】【辈】【子】【所】【生】【长】【的】【那】【片】【土】【地】【上】，【数】【学】【就】【是】
【那】【一】【位】【中】【年】【男】【子】【在】【把】【马】【车】【给】【套】【好】【了】【以】【后】，【又】【重】【新】【的】【回】【过】【头】【来】，【对】【着】【陆】【大】【有】【和】【顾】【小】【宝】【小】【心】【的】【介】【绍】【说】【道】。 “【两】【位】【少】【侠】？【马】【车】【已】【经】【套】【好】【了】！” ”【这】【一】【匹】【马】【可】【是】【很】【温】【顺】【的】，【想】【要】【让】【他】【动】【起】【来】【也】【是】【很】【容】【易】【的】，【如】【果】【想】【要】【让】【他】【往】【左】【边】【走】，【那】【就】【抖】【一】【下】【他】【左】【边】【的】【缰】【绳】，【如】【果】【想】【要】【让】【他】【往】【右】【边】【走】，【那】【就】【抖】【一】【下】【他】【右】【边】【的】【缰】【绳】，【如】【果】
【米】【昔】【的】【方】【法】【自】【然】【是】【不】【止】【这】【么】【一】【种】，【当】【然】【还】【有】【一】【个】【特】【殊】【的】【东】【西】【在】【那】【个】【什】【么】，【夏】【轻】【臣】【刚】【好】【站】【在】【旁】【边】【看】【见】【了】，【米】【昔】【也】【没】【有】【可】【以】【隐】【瞒】，【秦】【芷】【儿】【自】【然】【也】【看】【见】【了】，【雪】【甜】【甜】【一】【心】【一】【意】【在】【女】【人】【身】【上】【自】【然】【没】【有】【看】【见】，【米】【十】【七】【正】【在】【赶】【往】【战】【场】【的】【路】【上】，【还】【有】【小】【梦】【在】【米】【十】【七】【旁】【边】。 【这】【个】【东】【西】【只】【有】【三】【个】【人】【知】【道】，【不】【过】【自】【然】【不】【是】【绝】【密】【什】【么】【时】【候】【需】【要】【就】六和十二生肖的认识【反】【正】【苏】【染】【认】【为】【如】【今】【的】【问】【题】【是】【没】【有】【错】【的】，【至】【少】【此】【时】【此】【刻】【他】【什】【么】【坏】【事】【都】【没】【有】【做】【过】。 【明】【明】【他】【也】【是】【无】【辜】【的】，【这】【么】【对】【待】，【这】【换】【成】【谁】【愿】【意】【同】【意】【呀】，【你】【明】【知】【道】【我】【付】【出】【了】【这】【么】【多】【东】【西】，【但】【是】【你】【们】【从】【来】【没】【有】【想】【过】【替】【我】【完】【成】【这】【一】【切】。 【男】【人】【听】【到】【这】【话】【终】【于】【还】【是】【笑】【出】【了】【声】【音】，【他】【的】【眼】【神】【里】【面】【充】【满】【了】【淡】【然】，【就】【好】【像】【是】【在】【说】【这】【个】【世】【界】【白】【的】【是】【如】【此】
【十】【月】【一】【日】，【本】【书】【终】【于】【在】【一】【个】【如】【此】【喜】【庆】【的】【日】【子】【里】，【迎】【来】【了】【结】【束】。 【这】【是】【第】【二】【次】【完】【结】【感】【言】，【也】【是】【真】【真】【正】【正】【的】【完】【结】【感】【言】。 【至】【于】【上】【一】【次】【的】，【主】【要】【目】【的】【是】【劝】【大】【家】【不】【要】【继】【续】【看】【下】【去】【了】，【因】【为】【后】【面】【十】【几】【万】【字】，【都】【是】【洪】【荒】【巨】【水】，【不】【想】【浪】【费】【大】【家】【的】【订】【阅】【钱】$_$ 【这】【本】【书】，【一】【共】【一】【百】【二】【十】【万】，【写】【了】【将】【近】【一】【年】。 【毫】【无】【疑】【问】，【本】【书】【扑】
“【季】【沧】【海】！【你】【最】【好】【把】【这】【句】【话】【收】【回】【去】！【我】【底】【子】【不】【干】【净】【我】【知】【道】，【用】【不】【着】【你】【来】【提】【醒】【我】！” “【我】【我】【不】【是】【那】【个】【意】【思】！”【季】【沧】【海】【自】【知】【失】【言】，【可】【吵】【架】【的】【时】【候】【要】【怎】【么】【服】【软】？ “【管】【你】【什】【么】【意】【思】！【自】【己】【勾】【搭】【小】【姑】【娘】【的】【时】【候】【怎】【么】【不】【说】！【还】【有】，【要】【说】【拉】【拉】【扯】【扯】，【最】【该】【注】【意】【的】【不】【是】【你】【么】？【你】【不】【光】【拉】【扯】【了】，【你】【还】【每】【天】【在】**【里】LUO【奔】【呢】