Michael Jackson’s legacy endures 10 years on from his death

Michael Jackson’s legacy endures 10 years on from his death

Pop superstar Michael Jackson’s legacy remains potent 10 years after his death, despite allegations that he was a prolific child abuser.

It has been a decade since his death at the age of 50 sent shockwaves around the globe and plunged his millions of fans into grief.

While he was alive Jackson, one of the most influential and best-selling artists ever, vehemently denied the allegations of child sexual abuse that dogged him for more than a decade.

He was found not guilty of molesting a boy at a high-profile trial in 2005 and later withdrew from public life, briefly returning to the spotlight before his death on June 25 2009.

Earlier this year, the allegations against Jackson resurfaced with the explosive documentary Leaving Neverland, which featured graphic interviews with two men who say the King Of Pop routinely abused them as boys.

The Michael Jackson estate, which has become increasingly lucrative for the Jackson family, dismissed the film as “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on” the late singer.

In an interview with the Sunday Times at the weekend, Jackson’s sister Janet said his legacy “will continue”.

Janet Jackson said her brother’s legacy will live on (Ian Nicholson/PA)
Janet Jackson said her brother’s legacy will live on (Ian Nicholson/PA)

She added: “I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music. It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world.

“I hope I’m not sounding arrogant in any way — I’m just stating what is. It’s really all God’s doing and I’m just thankful for that.”

Jackson had three children, sons Michael Jr, 22, and Blanket, 17, and daughter Paris, 21.

Paris, a singer, is the only one to have spoken publicly about Leaving Neverland, replying to a fan on Twitter who said her father’s legacy was “ruined”.

Michael Jackson remains hugely popular among fans despite allegations of child sexual abuse (Suzanne Plunkett/AP)
Michael Jackson remains hugely popular among fans despite allegations of child sexual abuse (Suzanne Plunkett/AP)

She told them to “think of the bigger picture” and not “tabloids and lies”.

Following Leaving Neverland’s premiere in January, influential talk show host Oprah Winfrey was among the prominent figures saying she believed accusers James Safechuck and Wade Robson, while radio stations around the world vowed to stop playing Jackson’s music.

However, there is scant evidence the film has had the seismic impact many Jackson fans feared and an industry expert said he was “sceptical” of the impact it could have on his estate.

Adam Streisand, a leading Los Angeles-based trial lawyer specialising in celebrity estates, told the Press Association the historic nature of the allegations and the fact they were already known means they are unlikely to have a dire impact today.

Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris addressed the allegations against her father in documentary Leaving Neverland (Ian West/PA)
Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris addressed the allegations against her father in documentary Leaving Neverland (Ian West/PA)

Jackson’s groundbreaking albums such as Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad are credited with having transformative impacts on popular music.

Before his solo career, he achieved worldwide fame as as a child star as part of the Jackson 5 with elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon.

On June 25 2009, Jackson was found dead at his home in Los Angeles having suffered a heart attack due to an overdose of the sedative propofol.

His personal doctor Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

- Press Association

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