Streisand hits back after online criticism of Michael Jackson comments

Streisand hits back after online criticism of Michael Jackson comments

Barbra Streisand has said it is never acceptable for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of after being criticised for saying two men who claim abuse by Michael Jackson were “thrilled to be there”.

The Oscar-winning actress and singer, 76, made the comments in an interview with the Times, published on Friday, and became the subject of criticism online overnight.

On Saturday, Streisand said through her representative: “To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone.

The documentary features allegations against Michael Jackson (Yui Mok/PA)
The documentary features allegations against Michael Jackson (Yui Mok/PA)

“The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them.”

“The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimised and seduced by fame and fantasy.”

In the Times’ interview, Streisand said she believes James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who appeared in the documentary Leaving Neverland.

However, she questioned why their parents allowed them to sleep at the singer’s home.

She said: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.

“You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say (the grown-up Robson and Safechuck), they were thrilled to be there.

“They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

Barbra Streisand (Jane Mingay/PA)
Barbra Streisand (Jane Mingay/PA)

Asked if she was angry with Jackson, she said: “It’s a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him.

“I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?”

The documentary’s director Dan Reed suggested Streisand’s comments showed child abuse was “tolerated” by the film and television industry.

Posting on Twitter, Reed asked: “Is pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?”

The film was met by a furious reaction by the Jackson estate, which denied the allegations and lambasted the documentary as “an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in” on the superstar.

Both Stephanie Safechuck and Joy Robson appeared in Leaving Neverland to recount their experiences with Jackson.

Stephanie said she “failed to protect” her son while Joy said she regretted her decision to leave her child with Jackson at his Neverland ranch.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Madonna breaks her silence over Michael Jackson abuse allegationsMadonna breaks her silence over Michael Jackson abuse allegations

LOUISE O'NEILL: I often wonder why people find it so difficult to believe how prevalent sexual violence isLOUISE O'NEILL: I often wonder why people find it so difficult to believe how prevalent sexual violence is

Michael Jackson ‘innocent’ campaigners criticise removal of bus postersMichael Jackson ‘innocent’ campaigners criticise removal of bus posters

Michael Jackson Tribute tour cancels all four Irish showsMichael Jackson Tribute tour cancels all four Irish shows

More in this Section

Irish star Buckley on Variety’s ‘10 to watch’ listIrish star Buckley on Variety’s ‘10 to watch’ list

Jerry Springer defends duty of care practices on his tabloid talk showJerry Springer defends duty of care practices on his tabloid talk show

'It’s like taking your mouth to the gym': Cillian Murphy needs a month to relearn Peaky Blinders accent'It’s like taking your mouth to the gym': Cillian Murphy needs a month to relearn Peaky Blinders accent

Ghostbusters backlash was really terrible, says director Paul FeigGhostbusters backlash was really terrible, says director Paul Feig


Lifestyle

IF you are the parent of a child who is about to venture forth into the hallowed halls of Primary education, or ‘Big School’ as every Irish mammy refers to it since the dawn of time; well, chances are you’ve probably been very active in your Google searches looking for tips and advice on how to ease your child, and yourself, into this next chapter.Out of curiosity, I searched online for ‘Back to school advice’

More From The Irish Examiner