Wade Robson got his start in the entertainment business as Michael Jackson’s protege. When Jackson was accused of abusing children, Robson was quick to defend him, but years later, he told the world that he was sexually assaulted by Jackson.
On Sunday night, all eyes will be on Robson and Jackson’s other accuser, James Safechuck, as they share their stories on the new HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, which will air at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Robson has been linked to many high profile celebrities over the years, including Britney Spears and actress Mayte Garcia.
These days, Robson is married to Amanda Rodriguez.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Maintains That He Was Sexually Abused by Michael Jackson
About four years after Michael Jackson’s sudden death, Robson came forward to claim that he had been sexually abused by the King of Pop. Robson alleged that the abuse occurred when he was just a boy — between the ages of 7 and 14 — at Jackson’s California home, Neverland Ranch.
When he was a child, Robson stayed with Jackson at Neverland Ranch. Robson told CBS This Morning that Jackson started “to touch my legs and touch my crotch over my pants” before “it progressed to him performing oral sex on me, him showing me how to perform oral sex on him.” You can watch the full interview in the video above.
In 2015, a Los Angeles judge tossed out Robson’s case, ruling that the dancer had waited too long to file his report. The statute of limitations following Jackson’s death was 12 months.
2. He Is Married to Amanda Rodriguez
Wade Robson is married to Amanda Rodriguez, a former fashion designer who also worked as a choreographer on the dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance.
The two tied the knot in 2005, four years before Jackson’s death and a decade before Robson went public with his sexual assault claims.
At first, Robson didn’t tell his wife about his alleged past relations with Jackson. In fact, she was by his side when he went to court to testify on Jackson’s behalf in 2005. Rodriguez is aware of Robson’s claims now, which has been a relief for him.
“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 explains in the new documentary.
“I remember Amanda was on my left, and I remember physically, she just caved in, like someone punched her in the chest,” he adds.
3. There Have Been Rumors That He & Rodriguez Split
Despite being featured in various interviews and sharing his story with the world by way of Leaving Neverland, Robson is a fairly private person. So much so, in fact, that people often wonder if he is still married. There have been rumors that Robson and Rodriguez divorced, but the two are indeed still together.
In 2013, TMZ reported that Robson sold his condo in Los Angeles and moved to Hawaii with his wife (she grew up there).
Robson and Rodriguez live a very quiet, secluded life, away from the public eye, on the island of Maui. The couple has one son, Koa, together.
4. He May Have Been the Reason That Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake Split
Over the span of his career, Robson has worked with several huge stars, including Britney Spears. The two were a bit of a dream team in the early 00s, with Robson responsible for several of Spears’ famed dance routines during the height of her career.
In the late 90s, Spears was linked to *NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake. The two dated for about four years but split abruptly in 2002, much to the dismay of fans.
Although infidelity was rumored at the time, it was almost confirmed when Timberlake released his hit single “Cry Me a River,” which was supposedly written about Spears. To this day, people believe that Spears hooked up with Robson, thus effectively ending her relationship with Timberlake.
Of course, Spears responded to Timberlake’s song with one of her own. She released “Everytime” in 2003. You can watch the music video for the song below.
5. He Previously Dated Mayte Garcia
Before Robson was this well known, he was romantically linked to actress and dancer Mayte Garcia. According to celebrity relationship database Who’s Dated Who, this was Robson’s first-known public relationship.
Garcia is nearly a decade older than Robson. It’s unclear how the two met or how long Robson and Garcia dated.
She is the New York Times Best Selling Author of “The Most Beautiful.” This year, she founded a lifestyle community called The Most Beautiful U (TMBU).