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The trailer for the new Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me, has been released and it's more than a little uncomfortable to watch.

Scenes of allegations of sexual abuse against children emerge, detailing interviews with two men; Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim to have been sexually assaulted by the King of Pop as kids.

Leaving Neverland will air on Channel 4 from March 6, and is an exhausting four hours long series of footage and testimony. 

In the trailer, which is 40 seconds long,  Wade says of Michael Jackson;

"He said, “Do you and the family want to come to Neverland?” ‘He was one of the kindest people I knew and he also sexually abused me. I was seven-years-old."

Wade Robson was seven-years-old at the time, and James Safechuck was 10. Both detail abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch.

“It’s undeniably a kind of true-life horror movie,” Variety’s review of the documentary read. “You walk out of it shaken, but on some level liberated by its dark exposé… Devastating.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the programme is; “Complicated and heartbreaking. It’s doubtful you’ll feel exactly the same after watching.”

“The sheer variety and volume of horrifying disclosures made here… make Leaving Neverland both riveting and grueling, impossible to turn away from and the definition of a tough sit.”The Los Angeles Times wrote.

The first trailer was released this morning ahead of its launch on HBO in the US and Channel 4 in the UK on March 6, and the documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The interviews with the now adult Robson and Safechuck and their mothers as they try to process their trauma are incredibly powerful. Robson’s mother especially struggles to deal with just how complicit she was in the alleged abuse.

“Secrets will eat you up, you feel so alone,” Safechuck says at one point.

“Jackson told me, if they ever found out what they were doing he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives,” Robson says. “I want to be able to speak the truth as loud as I had to speak the lie for so long.” 

The Dan Reed-directed two part docu-series has been plagued with controversy since January, when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Jackson estate has slammed the documentary, disavowing the claims;

 “This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” a statement from the estate read.

“This so-called ‘documentary’ is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.”

Jackson’s brother Jermaine added: “Just leave us alone, leave him alone, let him rest, please. He deserves to rest.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The filmmakers of Leaving Neverland have responded to the criticism of their work by stressing how vital it is to listen to survivors of abuse;

In a statement, director Dan Reed said: “If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to. It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity."

"I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Speaking to Variety, Dan Reed added that the documentary is not about Jackson;. “This is not a movie about Michael Jackson abusing little boys,” Reed said.

“It’s a movie about two families and how two families came to terms with what their sons revealed to them many years after Jackson died.”

Jackson had always vehemently denied any allegations of abuse. Legal proceedings were brought against him in 2005, but Jackson was acquitted on all counts of child molestation, child intoxication and conspiracy to kidnap a child.

Feature image: rttnews.com

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Actor Emile Hirsch has pleaded guilty to charges of assault and has been sentenced to 15 days in jail, following an incident at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The Into The Wild star was arrested at TAO nightclub in Utah back in January, after a drunken altercation with Paramount film executive Daniele Bernfeld turned violent.

According to reports by TMZ at the time, Emile put Ms. Bernfeld in a chokehold after verbally abusing her. He "appeared intoxicated and asked Daniele why she looked so tough" before telling her "she was a rich kid who should not be at Sundance," the site added.

Ms. Bernfeld told police that she then walked away from the actor, but a few minutes later he came up behind her and choked her, pulling her across a table and sitting on top of her. She said she felt as if "the front and back of her throat were touching and she remembers things going dark."

A rep for the actor confirmed at the time that Emile had consumed "enormous amounts of alcohol" on the evening in question and was "devastated" by what he had done while under the influence.

Ms. Bernfeld told police that the whole incident was "insanely painful and absolutely terrifying," according to reports published by Associated Press. "It took two people to pull him off me, and if not for their intervention, the attack would have continued," she said. "I thought I was going to die."

The 32-year-old exec admitted that she was initially reluctant to press any charges because of the “sensitive nature” of her work and Emile's Hollywood status. However she soon changed her mind when she discovered that her name had already been leaked to the media in relation to the assault.

As well as the jail time and a $4,750 fine, Emile will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service for the charge to be dismissed.

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In January of this year, actor Emile Hirsch was arrested and subsequently charged with aggravated assault and intoxication while attending the Sundance Film Festival.

The 30-year-old Milk star allegedly put a female executive from Paramount Pictures, Daniele Bernfeld, into a chokehold, dragged her across a table and slammed her down to the ground.

While the above statement documents the events according to Ms Berneld, Emile had said that he doesn’t remember exactly what happened but that he believes she came at him and he defended himself.

In a report obtained by The Associated Press, the studio exec said that the incident was “insanely painful and absolutely terrifying.” She continued, “He basically grabbed me at the curve of the elbow, choked me up, threw me across the table, and I felt the front of my throat hit the back of my throat.”

Ms Bernfeld said that she was initially hesitant about pressing charges because of the “sensitive nature” of her work and the Into the Wild actor’s Hollywood status. However, when she realised her name was already being mentioned by the press in relation to the incident, she came forward and pressed charges.

The report stated that Daniele had visible red marks on her neck. It also stated that Emile was slurring his words and struggling to balance on the night of the incident.

An eyewitness said in his statement that “I have seen quite a few fights in my life, but this was pretty violent.” Although the witness's name has been redacted, he has been identified as a film director.

Before the Alpha Dog actor was released, he said that he was surprised by what had happened and told police that he generally stays out of trouble.

“I’ve always respected the law and been a law-abiding citizen. To have it bite me is surprising but at the same time, you can never be surprised when dealing with the law.”

The father-of-one checked into rehab after the incident. He is due in court on 17 August. If convicted he could face up to five years in prison and a €4,500 fine. 

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Last month it was reported that actor Emile Hirsch had been questioned by police after getting into an altercation in a nightclub, but now some altogether more sinister details have emerged.

The Into the Wild star was attending a Sundance Film Festival after-party when he reportedly assaulted a female film executive while extremely drunk in Utah's TAO nightclub. Emile has now been charged with felony assault for the incident.

The actor allegedly put the woman, Paramount exec Daniele Bernfeld, in a chokehold after verbally abusing her.

According to gossip site TMZ, Emile "appeared intoxicated and asked Daniele why she looked so tough" before telling her "she was a rich kid who should not be at Sundance."

Daniele told police that she then walked away from the actor, but a few minutes later he came up behind her and choked her, pulling her across a table and sitting on top of her. She told police that she felt as if "the front and back of her throat were touching and she remembers things going dark."

It look two people to pull Emile away, and police noted that he looked extremely intoxicated with glassy eyes and slurred speech.

A rep for the actor made a statement last night to say that Emile was "devastated" by the incident and that he cannot recall any of it. "Emile consumed an enormous amount of alcohol on the evening in question and he has no memory of what happened," said the spokesperson.

The 29-year-old checked himself into rehab just days after the incident, his rep added. "Emile takes these allegations very seriously, and is devastated that any of this has occurred. A few days after the incident, Emile sought help and checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation facility, where he remains today, to ensure nothing like this ever happens again." 

If found guilty of felony assault, the actor could end up behind bars for up to five years.

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Police in the US are investigating an assault charge against actor Emile Hirsch, after an incident on Sunday night.

The Into The Wild star was at a Sundance Film Festival after-party in Utah's TAO nightclub when he got into an altercation with a female film executive.

Police were called to the nightclub at around 3.30am and although no arrest was made, Emile was questioned by police until around 5am.

"Emile Hirsch got into a fight with an executive at Paramount at TAO Sundance," an insider told Us Weekly "and the executive was looking into pressing charges against Emile."

The woman reportedly asked security to call the police after the incident occurred. "Something happened between the movie exec and Emile, and she said she had been assaulted and asked security to call the police," the source told Page Six. "Emile didn’t leave the scene, and calmly waited for the police to arrive, and spoke with them until around 5 a.m., after which he went home with his friends."

Another source said that the incident was very out of character for Emile. "He’s a really nice guy. I can’t imagine he’d be involved in anything like this," said one friend.

29-year-old Emile is currently at Sundance to promote his new coming-of-age drama Ten Thousand Saints, which also stars Hailee Steinfeld.

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