Wade Robson’s family never recovered from the turmoil and stardom that came their way after Robson met pop icon Michael Jackson.
The family split and he lost a parent. Now the choreographer is one of the key voices who says Michael Jackson molested him on HBO’s two-part series by Dan Reed called “Leaving Neverland.” James Safechuck is the other main accuser featured in the documentary.
Today, Robson is 36. James “Jimmy” Safechuck is 41-years-old. Both men allege that the pop icon sexually molested them when they were underage. The Jackson estate has hotly contested the accusations. In fact, the Jackson estate has filed suit over the documentary. Robson previously tried unsuccessfully to get damages from Jackson’s estate.
Here’s what you need to know about Wade Robson’s Family:
1. Judy Robson, a Hairdresser, Dressed Her Son Like Michael Jackson
The Mirror recounts how Judy Robson details in the documentary that her son’s adulation of Michael Jackson was something she initially encouraged. According to Mirror, Jackson, even at 2, would try to dance like the singer.
His mother noticed that he had a lot of talent, so she would even dress him like Michael Jackson.
Eventually, Robson won a dance contest sponsored by Jackon’s tour company. The prize was a meet-and-greet, and that’s how Jackson first met Wade Robson and his family, Mirror reports.
“What is striking is how quickly the mothers trusted this man, and how quickly he became part of the families’ lives,” Neverland director Dan Reed said to Buzzfeed. “Michael was such an intense presence as a kind of star that we don’t see anymore. His charisma and the luminosity and the wealth of his world was very attractive and fascinating. Would be to anyone. One can’t blame these families for being particularly blinded by that.”
2. Wade Robson’s Sister Is a Choreographer
Wade Robson and his siblings were being raised “in a middle-class suburb of Brisbane, Australia,” when they crossed path with Jackson’s stardom, Mirror reports.
His sister Chantal is a choreographer too. According to her IMDB profile, “She is known for her work on One Missed Call (2008), Happy Feet (2006) and Bunraku (2010).”
Joy Robson moved Wade and his sister to California, “splitting up the Robson family,” The Post reported.
“Will you leave Little One with me for a year?” Jackson asked Joy Robson, of Wade, according to Vulture. Initially Joy declined, but she says Jackson told her: “I always get what I want.” She responded, according to the documentary: “Not this time. I will share Wade with you, but I am not going to leave him with you.”
Vulture notes that when Joy eventually made the move with her family, Wade was 7 and his sister, Chantal, was 10
3. Dennis Robson Committed Suicide
Although there were other issues in his life, one member of the Robson family never recovered from it all: Wade’s dad, Dennis. Dennis Robson, Joy’s husband and Wade’s dad, committed suicide in 2002 in the wake of his family taking off for Los Angeles to be closer to Michael Jackson’s sphere.
He told a Vanity Fair reporter that he had been molested as a child himself, and that he was worried about speaking out against Jackson.
He called back later and gave a quote praising Jackson to the reporter, who wrote that Dennis had bipolar disorder and struggled after his family went to Los Angeles and he remained in Australia. Wade Robson was born in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia.
Evan Chandler, the father of another Jackson accuser, also committed suicide.
4. Wade Robson Is Married to an Actress
Today, Wade Robson is married. His wife’s name is Amanda Rodriguez. According to Esquire, it took a long time for Wade Robson to tell his wife about what happened, in part because Jackson had pressured him to lie.
“The idea of this truth coming out and Amanda knowing about it and my family knowing about it and everyone in the entertainment business and my career knowing about it, I mean, was just a ridiculous idea that was never going to happen because, in my mind, my whole life would be over,” Robson said in the documentary, according to Esquire.
Esquire reports that Robson opened up to Amanda after Jackson died and he saw a therapist. According to her IMDB profile, Amanda Rodriguez is an actress. “Amanda Rodriguez is an actress, known for The Richmond Family Massacre (2009), The Strip (2002) and So You Think You Can Dance (2005). She has been married to Wade Robson since August 2005,” IMDB reports.
5. Joy Robson Accepted Material Things From Michael Jackson, Reports Say
Reports allege that one of the ways Michael Jackson would ingratiate himself with his accusers’ families was to give them material items. He would groom the boys and soften boundaries, before molesting them, the documentary alleges.
According to Vanity Fair, Wade Robson’s mother received many things at Jackson’s behest. Those things included a “permanent residence visa that Wade Robson’s mother testified in 2005 to having received by funneling whatever wages she had received through the Michael Jackson Corporation.”
She also received a car, $10,000 and a loan, Vanity Fair alleges.