HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland stars two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who claim that Michael Jackson molested them as children. In addition to these accounts, the film makes reference to another one of Jackson’s alleged victims: Brett Barnes. Barnes, 37, has denied ever having sexual contact with the singer. Learn more about Barnes and his relationship with Jackson below.
According to the book Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case, Barnes met Jackson in 1987, when he was 5 years old. He had written a fan letter to the singer and given it to one of his backup dancers after a concert. Jackson promptly contacted Barnes, and they developed a friendship over the phone before Barnes and his family visited Neverland Ranch in 1989.
Barnes First Met Jackson When He Was 5 & Says That the Singer Never Made Sexual Advances
To this day, Barnes maintains that Jackson never made sexual advances towards him, and that their friendship was strictly platonic. When the singer was accused of molesting a boy named Jordan Chandler in 1993, Barnes was one of the children to speak in his defense. In a television interview, Barnes explains the sleeping arrangement that he and Jackson had. He said that he “slept on one side of the bed” while Jackson “slept on the other” and therefore, he did not find it unusual. Watch the full interview above.
Barnes also testified on Jackson’s behalf during the singer’s 2005 trial. While on the witness stand, he said that Jackson had “absolutely not” molested him or touched in any way he deemed to be inappropriate. “Never. I wouldn’t stand for it,” he reasoned. Barnes was last photographed at the 2005 trial, and since then, has made a point of staying out of the public eye. He turned down an offer to appear in the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Barnes Has Been Openly Critical of ‘Leaving Neverland’ & Its Impact on Jackson’s Legacy
The only public forum that Barnes uses is Twitter. According to his unverified account, he currently lives in Melbourne Australia, and is firmly against the claims that Leaving Neverland makes against the late Jackson. “So people are getting their facts from a movie now?”, he tweeted in relation to the doc. “I wonder how they feel about the documentary showing the great alien invasion of ‘96. I think it was called Independence Day.”
In a separate tweet, Barnes criticized the makers of Leaving Neverland for being irresponsible with Jackson’s legacy. “Not only do we have to deal with these lies, but we’ve also got to deal with people perpetuating these lies,” he wrote. “The fact that they fail to do the small amount of research it takes to prove these are lies, by choice or not, makes it even worse.”