Legendary entertainer Barbra Streisand triggered a wave of backlash this week for comments she made about two men who allege Michael Jackson sexually assaulted them as children.
In a story published in British newspaper The Times on Friday, Streisand reportedly downplayed the significance of sexual abuse allegations brought by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, which are highlighted in the blockbuster documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
Streisand said she “absolutely” believes the allegations, but placed more blame on the parents of Robson and Safechuck than on the King of Pop, the New York Daily News reported.
“[Jackson’s] sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand said. “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [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.”
“I feel bad for the children,” she added, according to NYDN. “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?”
Jackson’s estate vehemently denies the allegations. Jackson died in 2009 from cardiac arrest at age 50. He faced other similar allegations prior to his death, and was even acquitted of child molestation in 2005.
People were outraged and sickened by Streisand’s comments. Dan Reed, who directed the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, even questioned: “[I]s pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?”