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Leaving Neverland: Explosive Michael Jackson documentary details 'scale of his sex abuse'

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Michael Jackson gave a young boy jewellery in exchange for sexual acts and even staged a mock wedding complete with vows and a diamond ring, according to damning new documentary Leaving Neverland.

The explosive film, which will air on HBO and Channel 4 in the UK, details allegations from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accuse Jackson of molesting them as boys.

It includes accusations that The King of Pop gave one of his victims jewellery in exchange for sexual acts, according to USA Today reporter Patrick Ryan who attended the world premiere on Friday.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Ryan said there were many common parallels in victims’ stories, listing them as: “Michael Jackson grooming them to hate their parents and women in general, saying God brought them together, eventually ‘casting them out’ for younger boys’.”

The reporter also said the documentary details one time where Mr Jackson staged a mock wedding complete with vows and a diamond ring for one of his alleged victims.

The Michael Jackson estate has condemned the four-hour film as “an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in” on the superstar, who died in 2009.

Jackson also denied all allegations that he abused underage boys during his lifetime.

Michael Jackson performing at the Super Bowl (AP)

One of the men’s accounts is controversial because he previously swore under oath that Jackson had never molested him before changing his account in a 2016 lawsuit.

However, Mara Reinstein of US Weekly wrote after watching the Sundance Film Festival premiere that the witnesses/sex abuse victims came across as “very credible” in the documentary.

She wrote on Twitter: “Feel sick to my stomach after watching Part 1 of #LeavingNeverland doc. Michael Jackson witnesses/sex abuse victims coming off very credible.

“It’s so sexually explicit that counsellors are in the lobby.”

Hollywood Elsewhere reporter Jeff Wells called the documentary a “horror film”, which gives an “intimate, obviously believable, sometimes sexually explicit story of two boys who became Michael Jackson’s special ‘friends’ – i.e lovers – while their oblivious parents went along”.

He added: “You should have seen the faces of the audience members during the ten-minute intermission of ‘Leaving Neverland’. They had that look of hollowed-out nausea, submerged disgust…trying to hide their revulsion.”

The documentary alleging the late singer was a predatory sex offender attracted a small group of protesters to its Sundance Film Festival premiere.

Pictures from the scene show about 25 protesters stood outside Park City’s Egyptian Theatre in Utah holding signs reading “Seek Truth” and “Innocent”.

Signs in support of Michael Jackson outside of the premiere of the “Leaving Neverland” (Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

One fan, Catherine Van Tighem, travelled from Alberta, Canada, to join the protest. She told Variety: “This film is not about giving a voice to a victim. The people that are featured in this film have already had their day in court and they have been legally denied.

“They were seeking financial gain and the case was dismissed … if Michael were alive today, this film would be considered defamation.”

Catherine Van Tighem hands out pamphlets in support of Michael Jackson (Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

Despite the controversy surrounding Leaving Neverland, directed by Bafta-winner Dan Reed, the film received a standing ovation after its four-hour screening.

Leaving Neverland’s title references the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, where Jackson lived from 1988 to 2003. Police raided the ranch in 2003 while investigating allegations Jackson had molested a 13-year-old boy.

The singer, who died aged 50 following an overdose, was acquitted of all charges in 2005 following a high-profile trial.

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