Judy Robson, the mother of Michael Jackson accuser Wade Robson, has spoken out about her family’s contact with pop star Michael Jackson in the wake of her son’s graphic accusations against the singer.
Wade Robson’s account of what he says Michael Jackson did to him will air on HBO as part of a two-part series by Dan Reed called “Leaving Neverland.” James Safechuck and Wade Robson are the two main accusers 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:
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.
2. Joy Robson Is a Hairdresser & Mother of Three
Wade Robson isn’t Joy’s only son; she is the mother of three. She was raising her kids “in a middle-class suburb of Brisbane, Australia,” when they crossed path with Jackson’s stardom, Mirror reports.
Today, Wade Robson works as a choreographer.
“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.”
3. Joy Robson Moved Her Family to California
According to The Washington Post, some families were willing to go to great lengths to remain in Jackson’s inner circle – and paid a large price for it.
In the case of the Robsons, 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
4. Joy’s Husband, Dennis, Committed Suicide
Dennis Robson, Joy’s husband and Wade’s dad, committed suicide in 2002 in the wake of his family’s split.
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.
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 accuser’s family 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.