Actor who says he donated sperm to Michael Jackson brands new documentary 'disgusting'

Mark Lester (right) and Michael Jackson.

Mark Lester, a lifelong friend of Michael Jackson, has called a new documentary about the singer "disgusting".

Lester was a child actor who most famously played the role of Oliver Twist in the 1968 film Oliver! and since became close with the King of Pop.

The documentary, Leaving Neverland, alleges that Jackson was a predatory sex offender and features interviews with two alleged victims of the popstar who said they were children when he groomed and molested them.

When the documentary was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival it attracted a small group of protesters.

Jackson’s estate criticised the documentary, issuing a statement, saying: "This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson."

Lester appeared on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 today defending Jackson, saying he has never believed any allegations against the singer.

"I don't believe any of it," Lester said. "I don't even know why it was made. I think it's disgusting.

"From what I gather the depth of the information is not in the public interest. I think it's revolting. I will not be watching it. I have no intention of watching it.

"It's sensationalist stuff. I don't understand why the Jackson trust, or whatever they are called, hasn't put an injunction out and stopped it. It's horrendous."

When asked if the Thriller singer was happy, Lester said he believes that Jackson "always seemed inwardly very, very happy" until 2005.

"But up until 2005, when he was accused of molesting a boy - that really had a deep impact on him and that affected him very, very much."

Lester said he was annoyed at the time, saying: "I was there at Neverland when those kids, well part of the time when those kids were there, and I knew exactly what a bunch of little yobos they were. And they were taking advantage of Michael's hospitality.

"It was only after when...Michael's manager at the time suggested that they leave after having stayed there for three months on Michael's hospitality and goodwill...And it was only just a week they were asked to leave that the mother came forward with these horrendous accusations."

Speaking about the documentary, Lester said it does not reflect the man he knew.

"It's not the man I knew. Michael was [an] extremely warm, generous and kind-hearted man.

"And I've taken my children, on numerous occasions, to meet Michael. We've stayed in Neverland and I never witnessed anything other than a very kind and wonderful guy.

"In fact to the point where when my two daughters were with me, and they were probably five and seven at the time, we spent the week with Michael in Neverland and at the end of the week I said to my kids....what was your best moment at Neverland?"

Lester said they both said: "The best thing about Neverland is Michael".

Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch

Lester also reflected on an occasion when Jackson asked the actor for some of his sperm.

When asked about the context, Lester said: "He was curious as to why I had four [kids]."

Lester said Jackson wondered how hard he had try for kids "and I said 'well not very hard. It just kind of happened and it happened very quickly'."

Lester stated that Jackson said 'you must be very fertile' and asked if he would "help [him] out".

"I thought he wanted me to sleep with his wife, Debbie Rowe, and I thought 'oh my god, no'. There's a line where you must draw. About a month later he contacted me again to say 'I've set you up in this clinic, would you go along.' I thought he was still joking."

Lester said he went to the clinic and agreed to donate sperm, saying he never thought anything would come of it.

"It was Michael. He'd been very kind and generous to me, so..."

Lester agreed with Tubridy that he felt "it was bizarre."

Mark Lester
Mark Lester

On rumours that Lester could be Paris Jackson's biological father, he said: "They were Michael's kids".

"Michael brought those kids up as his own and he nurtured those children. He loved those kids. They were Michael's kids.

"There was just never any other doubt....Whether he was the biological father or not, he was the father."

He said his kids would like to be in touch with Jackson's kids as they spent a lot of time together growing up.

Lester is godfather to Paris but they have not been in touch since Jackson died in 2010. Lester believes his daughter Harriet would be a good help and benefit to Paris who he believes is going through a tough time.

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