LaToya Jackson Slammed Brother Michael's 'Crimes Against Children' in Interview She Later Recanted
"These kids are going to be scarred for the rest of their lives," LaToya Jackson previously said about the alleged young victims of brother Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson‘s family has publicly denied the explosive allegations of child sexual abuse surfaced in the bombshell HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
Footage of LaToya’s explosive comments, broadcast then by MTV, were resurfaced in the wake of Leaving Neverland‘s airing.
At the time they were made, LaToya was estranged from her family while Michael was facing accusations of molesting 13-year-old Jordan Chandler. Though Jackson denied the accusations, the case was eventually settled out of court for over $20 million. Police were also investigating various allegations from three other boys, though criminal charges were never filed.
Still, LaToya appeared to believe the claims were true, claiming her mother had shown her hush-money payments in “very very large amounts” made to the youngster’s families.
LaToya, now 62, said she was speaking out because she could no longer be a “silent collaborator” in his actions.
“If I remain silent, then that means that I feel the guilt and the humiliation that these children are feeling, and I think it’s very wrong,” she said at the time.
The star went on to criticize her brother for spending time behind closed doors with his alleged victims.
“You stop and think for one second and you tell me, what 35-year-old man is going to take a little boy and stay with him for 30 days? And take another boy and stay with him for five days in a room and never leave the room?” she asked. “How many of you out there are 35 years old? How many men are out there? How many would take little kids and do that? That are 9, 10, 11 years old? I love my brother but it’s wrong. I don’t want to see these kids hurt.”
Years later, LaToya would recant her statements, claiming that she was convinced to make them by her then-husband Jack Gordon.
Elsewhere in her press conference, LaToya spoke out about her own sexual molestation, allegedly at the hands of her father, Joe Jackson.
“This is my first time talking about it and I never, never wanted to speak about it, but I think it’s sad because I am a victim myself and I know what it feels like,” she said. “I’ve been hurt by it too. My father molested me sexually and I don’t like it, I don’t like the way it feels. ”
“These kids are going to be scarred by this for the rest of their lives. I don’t want to see any more innocent small children being affected this way,” LaToya added. “I love Michael very dearly but I feel sorry for these children because they don’t have a life anymore. They don’t.”
Leaving Neverland chronicled allegations from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim Jackson befriended them when they were children and that their relationships quickly turned sexual.
Safechuck, who met Jackson when he was cast in the star’s 1986 Pepsi commercial, claims Jackson taught him how to masturbate, while Robson, who met Jackson when he was just 5 years old, says the star performed oral sex on him and kissed him.
“You and I were brought together by God. We were meant to be together,” Robson claimed Jackson told him. “This is how we show love.”
Both men allege they were instructed by the star to cover their tracks, with Robson claiming Jackson told him they would “go to jail for the rest of our lives” if anyone found out about their alleged sexual encounters.
Jackson’s family has repeatedly denied all allegations put forth in Leaving Neverland, and said in a January statement the film was “another rehash of dated and discredited allegations,” calling it “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.”
Two co-executors of the singer’s estate and Optimum Productions also sued HBO and its parent company, Time Warner, for $100 million in February, claiming that the network’s decision to air Leaving Neverland violated a non-disparagement clause, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, HBO responded: “Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland. … This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”