James Safechuck and Wade Robson star in the documentary Leaving Neverland, which focuses on their connection to the late music icon, Michael Jackson. In the documentary, Robson and Safechuck allege that they were molested by Jackson when they were children. Get to know more about Safechuck, his life today, his connection to Jackson and allegations.
1. James Safechuck Was In Michael Jackson’s 1987 Pepsi Commercial
James Safechuck reportedly traveled with Jackson when he was young and even appeared in Jackson’s 1987 Pepsi commercial. The Daily Beast reported that by early 1988, Safechuck was often seen at Jackson’s side.
It was actually on the set of the Pepsi commercial that Safechuck first met Jackson. He was 9 years old at the time. He ended up joining him on his Bad tour later on, according to Distractify. Soon, Jackson reportedly became close with Safechuck’s family, even spending holidays together.
Safechuck alleged that abuse from Jackson occurred until 1992, as Safechuck claimed that Jackson had moved on to a younger boy named Brett Barnes. Barnes has filed a lawsuit against HBO about the Leaving Neverland documentary, claiming he was misrepresented, according to USA Today.
2. Today James Safechuck Has a Wife and Kids
Safechuck grew up to become a computer programmer, who is married with two children. His wife’s name is Laura Primack. Together, they live in Southern California.
His wife became pregnant in 2010 and Safechuck allegedly worried that he would develop pedophiliac tendencies. Distractify reported that in Safechuck’s 2014 court filings, it stated, “James Safechuck says quite poignantly in his filings that reflection on his experiences with Michael Jackson (a year and a half of pre-molestation grooming, roughly three years of abuse) and, especially, seeing his own kids, underscored to him that children were ‘blank slates'”.
Safechuck’s case was dismissed because of the statute of limitations.
Distractify reported that Michael Jackson financially supported Safechuck financially until Safechuck was 17 years old.
3. Wade Robson Was Not Allowed to Talk to James Safechuck When Filming the ‘Leaving Neverland’ Documentary
Safechuck added his name to a lawsuit originally filed by Wade Robson in May 2013 against Jackson. So, it’s no wonder the two got together for the Leaving Neverland documentary. But, when it came to filming, the two were not allowed to speak to each other.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Safechuck talked about why he decided to do the project. He revealed, “I would just hold on to knowing that Wade is out there. There was comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone. It also made decisions about doing this movie difficult. We couldn’t [decide together] ‘should we do it.’ We had to make these decisions independently. What do we want? We want the truth. We want to be heard. Is this the right thing to do? Those were hard decisions.”
When Leaving Neverland was getting released Safechuck said he was surprised at all the support he and Robson were getting. He told Vanity Fair, “Getting public support is not something we are used to. We are not used to people believing us. My mother believes me—I’m used to that—but I’m not used to other people believing me.”
4. Neverland Ranch Employees Claimed James Safechuck Was Molested By Michael Jackson
Prior to 2014, Safechuck denied ever being abused by Michael Jackson, but, he later made allegations of molestation against Jackson, as reported by TMZ. The Daily Beast reported, “Safechuck was mentioned as a potential abuse victim by employees of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in court documents filed ahead of the star’s 2005 criminal trial, but he always denied that Jackson had molested him. Now, the sources said, Safechuck’s complaint claims that Jackson groomed him and molested him for several years beginning when he was 10 years old.”
Neverland Ranch staffers previously stated that they believed Safechuck had been a victim of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson. In fact, one of the maids said that she saw Safechuck in bed with Jackson without a shirt on. In addition, Radar Online reported that during the same 2005 court case against Jackson, one estate manager of Neverland testified that he saw Safechuck and Jackson in a jacuzzi. According to the manager Jackson had his hands “down the front of Jimmy’s underpants and was manipulating the boy’s genitalia.”
Jackson was ultimately found “not guilty” of molestation charges.
5. James Safechuck Actually Testified Against One of Michael Jackson’s Accusers
In 1993, one year after Safechuck says Jackson’s abuse stopped, he testified on behalf of Jackson, against an accuser named Jordan Chandler, according to Distractify. Safechuck, who was 15 years old at this time, later claimed that he was “groomed” by Jackson and his legal team for the testimony. Vanity Fair reported that Jackson reached a civil settlement with Chandler’s family for $20 million.
Jackson reportedly called upon Safechuck again to testify in his defense during his second molestation trial, but Safechuck said he denied the request. Wade Robson testified on Jackson’s behalf in both cases.
Safechuck said that his past with Jackson still affects him today. He told Vanity Fair that, “You know what is a hard one for me: my kids love Weird Al [Yankovic] and they love [the “Bad” parody] “Fat.” They love it! And I’m like, God, do I take this away from my kids? … It’s still really hard for me. And I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t hear a song.”