LOS ANGELES — Barbra Streisand has issued an apology for her comments regarding the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson.
According to People, Streisand said she “absolutely believes” Jackson’s accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who recently shared their stories in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, but is also defending Jackson.
“He was very sweet, very childlike. His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand is quoted saying, “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there.”
Streisand even reportedly said that Jackson’s alleged abuse didn’t “kill them.”
“They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them,” Streisand allegedly said.
Despite her defense of Jackson, Streisand told People she does feel bad for Robson, now 36, and Safechuck, now 41.
“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?” she allegedly said.
However, the documentary’s director, Dan Reed, like many other social media users was appalled by Streisand’s comments.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 22, 2019
She's said he had his sexual needs… like it's ok to molest children as long as they are "thrilled to be there" and grow up to have wives and children so it "didn't kill them"….. actually ITS NEVER OK!
— MuffinPlus (@muffinplus) March 22, 2019
As a lifelong fan, I am deeply disappointed about your remarks regarding Michael Jackson. I don’t understand how you could be so dismissive of the abuse that he inflicted and the damage that’s been done. It’s so unsympathetic to ALL victims of sexual abuse. @BarbraStreisand
— Lisa Bee (@leebee4life) March 22, 2019
However, some Twitter users took to her defense.
Everybody just hates that @BarbraStreisand said the truth. #MichaelJackson accusers are NOT dead. They are, in fact, SURVIVORS. And research shows most children that are molested are not ruined for life. Why are you mad at that? You want them in horror forever?
— Karel (Bouley) (@reallykarel) March 22, 2019
What Barbara Streisand said was sick, but it is what the accusers and Dan Reed claim, that they and Michael Jackson were in a “loving” and “sexually fulfilling” relationship. So, why are MJ haters quick to accept that and then attack someone for essentially repeating the claims?
— ً (@Iovemjj) March 23, 2019
Saturday, Streisand Tweeted an apology stating,
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 23, 2019
Leaving Neverland made its debut at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January.
Ahead of the film’s release, Jackson’s estate released the following statement to People:
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson. Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception’, filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed.”
Jackson was found dead his mansion in 2009 at 50 years old.