Listen to a conversation hosted by Oprah Winfrey, featuring Wade Robson and James Safechuck, subjects of the two-part HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” alongside director Dan Reed. Taped before an audience of people whose lives have been impacted by sexual abuse, the conversation also features interviews with actor Anthony Edwards and ex-NFL linebacker Al Chesley, both survivors of sexual abuse. Dr. Howard Fradkin, author of “Joining Forces: Empowering Male Survivors to Thrive,” explains the telltale patterns often followed by sexual abusers.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast I've leave- that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now. Everyone in this theatre has just finished during all four hours of the film leaving Neverland, it's a naughty to have over one hundred men and women here who say that they were sexually abused as children surrounding them. We're supporters and family members, and watching this documentary was was in tents in very emotional experience. For many people here, the two men who tell their stories in leaving Neverland Wade, Robson and James Safe Chuck are
Also here with me on stage, as well as the director of the film Dan Red and so here is the reason why I'm here in twenty five years of the opera, shall I taped two hundred and seventeen episodes on such views I tried and tried and tried to get the message across to people that sexual abuse was not just to abuse. It was also sexual seduction, so apt. I saw leaving never land for the first time. I call them Henry I didn't, know Dan Rape and told him the Dan. I said you were able to illustrate in these four hours when I tried to explain in two hundred in seventeen- and I know people all over the world are going to be in an uproar and debate.
Whether or not Michael Jackson did these things are not whether these two men are lying or not lying. But for me, this moment transcends Michael Jackson. It is much bigger than any one person. This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption, it's like a scored on humanity, and it's happening right now. It's happening in families, we know is happening in churches and in schools and sports teams everywhere. So if it gets you, you are audience to see how it happens, then some good would have come of it. Child sexual abuse, even the word abuse- lacks accuracy. I've been set, this for years and years and years that its confusing the word abuse when you say sexual abuse, because as you just saw in, leaving Neverland that as you
boys. These two men did not feel abuse until later on in life and when you are a child. This is the message I want every parent to hear you don't the language to explain what is happening to you, because you ve been seduced and entrapped. So when testified is eleven years all were you thinking about it as abuse, then did you know you were being abused and you would just defending Michael? What? When did you start to know that it was abuse here? a point term your when the abuse started and when I was eleven Even when I was twenty two and later I know, I know
standing that what Michael did me sexually was abuse at no concept of it. Being that you know from from night one of the abuse of the sexual stuff. I could do to me. You know he told me that it was love. Me told me that he loved me and that God brought us together and You know- and I was a little boy from the other side of the world in Australia and Michael, was God to me and now who was God to me, was telling me I love you. God brought us together and this this sexual stuff. This is how we show our love. So before he said that anything Michael was going to say to me was gospel to me, so and then, when I, when I testify
eleven from the first night on started, training me right away for what ended up happening. When I was eleven twenty two at the trial, now you can see it. I mean: what were you able to see it? for then put it all together in a document memory. It's really it's! It's easy for everyone to see the pattern now. Could you see the pattern as a little boy? Absolutely not in Michael, was justice where I was a little boy. He was just this incredible person and I wasn't. There is not really person to me was like an alien. There is that many of us think that too, in the late eighties, when they started happened, you say in the late eighties, no was nineteen. Ninety nine lighting. Ninety, ninety, ok, so your seven years are ok.
Ladys early nineties, Michael Jackson was was a gardener. For all intents and purposes he was like a guy in an actually there's, there's, no one. We can even compare him to today, because stars aren't stars like that anymore. They its shining brightly so its clear to see the grooming process? It was such a striking moment when you said in the film James you had a marriage ceremony with Michael Jackson with rings and handwritten vows, and once you ve said vows, you feel completely complicit. Did you not That moment was part of him. You know telling me that we'll be together forever and it was look up. It was an action to sort of solidify our.
I was getting a little older and knows little more insecure about my position, so As for reminding me, there will always be together. So that's what I asked the question, because I think so many parents I remember when you know gales children were smaller and she oh- and I would always talk about this subject and she would say. Oh my kids will tell me because my kids aren't gonna. Let themselves be hurt, they're, not gonna. Let themselves be punished. I think so many parents don't understand that it doesn't you'll like hurt and once you have committed once you have in your case actually said- thousand. You have rings to prove that, as you say that you all together you're? All in Europe mean even before that I was alone in the intensity of the love that you have for him. He also wedges,
You know space between you and your parents, you in the rest of the world. You know you worked very hard at that, so you and him against the world lap intensely combined with the world's intense love for him is overwhelming. I mean kid, it's just so when did you realize it was abuse you all is the word freely now as adult men. But when did you start to think of it as abuse wasn't until waking? I was really suffering. I could. Sleep at night, I would sleep for two hours and I can wake up in my body. Was buzzing and I'll be up all night and- and I hated myself- and I don't know why it's like. Why do I hate myself this intense feeling of hate? Is you don't understand it and then, when I see Wade come out
you go? Ok, maybe there's there's a reason for this as a reason for this now I can figure out what to do about it. So I about it, don't think it's a bit. So when Wade came out- and we saw him on the today Show- was that the first time you you could justly recognise. There were others, because, obviously you recognize there were others, because you testified trial. Recognise there's Armenia testify when I was a little kid and you don't think about there being others, your brain doesn't go there. You you're just thinking about you and him and so you know when we came out, I was triggered by it. I didn't have this. You know there was an immediate sense of hope that the French have you knew. There was a wade. I knew of Wade. I've met Wade twice when we were kids were made on the set of the jam, video and then Michael had a weekend, and never land
with us in a few I kids, so I knew of waiting and then I thought he was greatly was nice site you got along with them is a solar kid, but that ok, so when you saw weighed on the today, show that triggered you to feel what I panicked like. I was being caught. Obviously it was just like it was this that body panic, and so I took weeks to go like ok sort through that and let it sort of like calmed down, try to figure out what that is, and then you go he's getting help or eat he's he's further along. Maybe maybe I can be like that. Maybe I can go get. How did you do not feel or the question is, did you feel a sense of I'm not the only one like money to ITALY,
immediately was a lot of panic. Cuz Michael is just reeled in you over and over. Since you were a kid you know. If you're caught we're caught your life is over. My life is over. It's repeated, over and over again that's just drilled, India nervous system. So it's panic of being caught. It takes a lot of work to sort through that. Ok, so here's the thing that I think it so hard for people who have not had this kind of trauma or experience in their lives to understand And that is, if you were abused, why would you continue to want to be around the person? I think one of the things that the Michael just Jackson's estate is saying about you now is that you Wade had tried
to get a job working with she is organization or going on tour. Why would you want to continue? Can you explain to people why you want to continue the association? If you have been abused, I had no understanding of it being abuse in loved, Michael and in all the times that that I just five and in other men many times that I guess over him publicly in energy use or whatever it may be. That was from a real place. You know why forgetting any of the sexual details that happened between us. But having no understanding that it was abuse having no
concept in my mind that anything about Michael could ever be bad. Anything that Michael did was right to me. For so many years so even when you're on the witness stand in Europe there for hours and it is going to be on trial for anything Even when you on the witness stand defending him, you still did not think he was doing anything bad, or were you defending him because of your love for him? That's what I'm trying to understand did you think he might have done a bad thing, but I'm going to defend him, or did you not think it was bad that term trying to preserve? I didn't think about it as far as that concept,
I couldn't even I know this now that I couldn't even go there. I couldn't even question Michael if, if I was to question Michael and my story with Michael my life with Michael, it would mean that I would have to question everything in my life So it wasn't even an option to think about it. Michael was good. That was all that existed in my mind. Might nowhere in your mind, you were there to protect him. That was a huge part of it. You know he started that he started. That training of me know right away, was right away? It was if, if anybody ever finds out what what we're doing we're both go to jail for the rest of our lives. So I was terrified as well from from us
off as well, but also terrified for him. I loved him and I wanted to protect him and In my mind, up until whatever was six years ago or so you know I was going to take what truly happened to my grave, no question. That was the way it was. So I assumed I don't Eleanor you all day too, but I assumed that the reason you all were a up to now speak. The way you do is because you both had sent was that the thing that turned your thinking around you, you don't connect with you as a child. You don't have any sympathy for yourself or empathy
There's a disconnect. I dont relate to that kid, but when you have your own kid, I think it's the MRS Maes. So again and now it's it's a way for Europe to bridge that, and you see yourself in him, then you can see what kids are actually like. Yeah. I wouldn't. I would just like to say something about not relating to that kid, I hear all of you ve been through this. You know what they're talking about, because when, Spend your life. Holding the secret as a child. Your whole childhood is a lie. Your whole childhood is a lie. All the decision that you make about anything come from that space of a everything you two choices. You may come from that space of a lie. So that's why you have their feelings connection. I think you're, a man I really experienced I continue to experience, have a lot of struggle connecting to little weight
an understanding of what it was that that may as a child was feeling and as I was going through, all of that, if my son never would have been born, I think there's a really good chance that I'd still be living in silence. Really good chance interest. I think you know it wasn't. Until I gained the perspective of being a father and finally having because, to cut off. I didn't know that I was at the time but what I know now, because I was so cut off from little Wade that once my son was borne out o my god. This is this is what a child looks like. This is how it child thinks search out, behaves that was me and then, of course, I'm sure it added to it that this is a little boy whose my little boy,
and you know it said in the film I started seeing in my hedge happening me, my son and dumb. That was the first moment. Did I ever ever thought in my life. Maybe I need to tell someone about this because you had gone to therapy before, but you were also line The therapist you weren't you Therefore, because you, you were determined that you're going to protect right the others story had too nervous breakdowns, the the second of which led to meet disclosing or the the first nervous breakdown. I went to therapy and you know, had absolutely no intention of of talking about what happened between. Michael and I, and because because I had you having the nervous breakdown exactly, I had no idea that what happened between Michael another sexual stuff,
any negative hunting on that secret whatsoever, which is the point I wish that the world could hear. In that is so many people put. The emphasis on was their sexual. In addition, it was not at all these shows. I did they might well. Was their penetration or not you go to court is, was their penetration or not, when the emphasis should not be on the sex act itself, but on what happens afterwards and I think what most people don't understand it is in it's just like you you're your mother, says in the film your mother says in the film that she knocks on the door and to the theater, and then she comes it in Michael says. Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know that door was locked when she comes in the room and she sees you. Your clothes are on and she thinks everything's, okay, because everybody thinks
look a certain way or regain a look like you, ve been battered. Are you gonna? Look like somebody raped you when, in fact it is the holding of the secret? It's the shame, it's the confusion, it's the guilt, it's the depression and then the nervous breakdown that that that comes to so many people so did you have where you out to do a story about Michael Jackson. We weren't you did Michael Jackson, way of Michael Jackson Fan or not a MAC, Michael Jackson. How did you come on the story? No prior interests and Jackson at all, come on story short. I basically stumbled across a reference to the letter nation that these guys were carried out against the market access state of time, and I decided to approach them in and I thought his is two guys I never heard of making these claims, and I thought I was interesting and so began to try and get to meet them in Colombia. We shall end up doing this very
a long three days he was weighed and in a two day who were James, and I realize that these men had an extraordinary story to tell not not so much even about Michael Jackson, but about what grooming child sexual abuse looks like and that's so important. I see view with tears in the audience, because when you see the grooming process laid out that way, it makes you think about your own process and I think, for a lot of people, I was saying this to you my producer. The day that I was doing a show, and I was forty two years old, actually and show with men would molested their children and stepchildren, and it wasn't until one of the child molesters, the accused said out loud how he had practised
Grooming, his thirteen year old daughter that I had a light bulb moment and finally realised at forty two that it was not my fault. I think for a lot of people to see the grooming process and understand for yourself. Oh that's what happened to me. That's what I'm trying to get you ought to see that you don't need to be a big iconic star, that this is happening in families and churches and everywhere with somebody who has entrusted themselves made themselves. Look like your mother said that he just seem like a wonderful, loving carrying person. And knew how to groom a child in your own particular family. That's what what what goes on so in two thousand ten. I did a show with two hundred men. Also
ivory of childhood sexual abuse, each holding a picture of themselves as a child at the age when that abuse started still one of the things that seared in my memory and on that show, I talk to Doktor, Howard Bracken, there's an expert in this field and its council over a thousand male victims over a thousand and is the author of joining forces, empowering mill survivors to thrive and doktor, Frank and this year with a start
stand up. Will you please? I want to talk a little bit about grooming because we saw it so clearly in the film in so many examples of it. What are the classic signs of a grooming I was saying you know, everybody who is entrapped is seduced is seduced, has been groomed and the whole thing about grooming. It's just like if you fall in love with somebody and and they start doing romantic things for you, one of the most, king moments is for me, is on the airplane when you are coming back from Hawaii and you are interviewing Michael Jackson and use you tell me what was the most interesting part and when he says the most interesting part as me, are you
was being with you who doesn't want to hear that? I'm at my heart melted a little bit, because when somebody says what did you like the most about this and this ain't? What I like the most about this experience was just being with you and I'm not just saying that, because you're here, just because you are the best, I mean who's that that's how it starts. The grooming starts first with the perpetrator convinces the person that they're, safe and, in your case, is in a mini cases. They convinced the whole family. You're safe with me? I have your best interests at heart. I just wanna help you guys succeed and be happy and all that stuff, and then they teach you to especially when you say that many many times how important that is, that Europe's you're the only one I bought never land. For you, I mean what better playground to be on. So that's and then its think that gradual introduction, that's what part of grooming, as is the
touches introduced in a very gradual way. So first, it's just rough housing and then it's like ok, I'm just going to touch her leg and then its leg. While now I'm gonna put my hand over your generals and one of the interesting things about Michael and The particular situation is that the grooming had started long before we ever met him. You know because he was he was he was. He was such a massive you're an represented himself as such an angel- and you know it? didn't have a childhood and I love children and so much I love being around children, I want to help other children have a childhood so long. Before ever meeting the first time, all so much had been set up already that I was I was- and I think my mother my whole family was already surrendered before we met him.
In the documentary Wade's mother says it Michael asked her if she would leave Wade with her for an entire year. She says that he said to her. I always get what I want. And the documentary shows that he later went back and started sending faxes too. Other calling your mother, as your grandmother said, which we love turn the film. Thank you grandma came out with all we're gonna hear now, above all that that she was also in India. Grandmothers words. She was also group, because Michael was calling her and telling her and befriending her in a way that made her feel special, he spent a lot of time.
Developing, a special relationship with my mother, also with my sister. I think it was the same for we have a lot of time with our parents yet well. What is so interesting is your parents. The booming process for your parents was fascinating because when you're someone at the level of Michael Jackson, you don't have to have the same chucks come and pick you up. You can get their yourself, but the very idea, your family thought we're gonna go and we're gonna put him. The car and work get him out of there and we are the ones that that's all honor, that's all a part of it like Michael Jackson. Need you to drive him around right. There was that there was a where had similar experiences, and then there is this feeling of. He would make me feel, and I think us feel my my mother feel that we also were saving him.
In giving him a life yeah that was out out of his lonely existence that with us he could be more normal. While this that was such an invite, while we can save you can I help you. While I am not one of the most you now, I thought win you say in the film the night you wake up and he is crying in the room. He is crying in the room. We were supposed to leave, never learn the next day and yeah. I woke up. I hear this sobbing and I in the room is darken and I couldn't tell where was coming. But first and then I realized, I see this figure over in the corner and and Michael is rolled in the corner against the largest sobbing and
things that speaks to my state of among my state of mind. At that point I was seven and I just met him. I started becoming afraid that he was going to turn into a werewolf from thriller mean like that. That's where I was yeah, because that was the Michael I knew, and now I was in his house in his bed There are many in the room cry. He would do that. Alot cry like he would put on this with LE now I see as an act, but that he just felt too much and he would cry new cry for your requires. Is he so lonely, and that made you feel even more special yeah? You want you want to be there for you, gonna, be there right yeah! You know it is what so interesting to me.
After Anthony Edwards works with an organization called one in six. That number one in six represents that one in six men are sexually molested as a child. That's the statistic in our country, its problem, higher. So in twenty seventeen ethanol published an online article called yes mam. There is something wrong deed, telling his personal story of being a survivor of child sexual abuse. Your mother ask you and ask you and ask you,
ask you answer me, and you also lied. Why? Because what you guys so beautifully represented here is that thing that happens to a young psyche who has allowed a person to become their everything? That person is your whole life. That person is inspiring. He was a mentor to me. He was all of it and you, including that world, and if the feeling was, if I was to tell the truth, it would all shatter life would go away and when you're, in my case, fourteen fifteen, your life is this big and that person is so much bigger than an numb. That's the thing that keeps all of us so quiet and that's been the amazing experience of working with one insects and working with great practitioners, like Howard and in realising
what you guys have done here and what we say in one in six as you are not alone, but the ability to tell a friend tell him of a mother or father anyone your story and to own that story without shame. It's how we here, Recover and your proving that it is possible, thank you, so our chosen as a former Philadelphia Eagles in avail linebacker and now says he was sexually abused from the time he was there. Team to eighteen by a trusted neighbourhood, police officer, the police officer was actually called officer Friendly AL kept a secret from everybody in his life for thirty three years, and I hear you were at the taping than it did with the two good men possesses an you didn't speak up then. But what do you want to say here over the honest leaders? I want to thank you for having us back several.
His back, I was probably hiding under the chair was still. I was avoid I wanted to be there, but I was just so still early on. I think I just came out of the closet about my views about six months prior, so I just. As this could muster the courage, but I just so happy I finally, with that show in then, several years in the work and I'm goin. I know that the only second your secret when you were watching leaving Neverland, did you notice any of the patterns that were apparent with your own, a bit with office? friendly. Absolutely the Roman, and you know you got a police officer, someone we revered in the neighborhood, has a police car, a gun and about ass though he had power. Power is key to it. He could just through the neighbourhood use
hey religion. I was thirteen and its ass first sexual experience in assessing the most cruellest crime. You could commit to a kid and Marion that kid Spirit, so the The key for me is what you guys in dollars, So healing in this morning I wake up now I say How we do you want to be? why, when your mother asked you in the first trial, why did you do the same thing and Anthony did in so many other people and why did use? Why did you deny it because I felt like a great opportunity to say well, yet some of the same things have happened to me. I didn't I
I didn't not testify out of thinking. I was doing something good or know that that their, what he did was bad, I was afraid of being caught, is on the news. Twenty four seven I mean it was just being Yod cast and there is so much attention on it from the world. So by that time you thought of what you were doing as a bad thing, we're just as a thing that you all did, but you had to keep it a secret. I didn't think of it as good or bad. I was she who was that old sort of wiring of if you're caught your life will be over and so on. In my mid twenties and I'm just trying to start a life so then that to be thrown into that was light. Is too much and so when I said no, I wasn't trying to do the right thing. I was just afraid and it was self preservation
so. This is why so many people don't understand a big part of the confusion and shame for child victims. Is that the attention and this reduction from the predator, who is probably going to be somebody you now in order for it to work? It has to be somebody, you know somebody you admire somebody, you expect, or maybe even love, and it feels good. I mean if you're seven years old and somebody at which I was trying to say this to my friend to children you seven years all and someone is stroking your penis. It feels good, even though you don't have a name for what that is, it feels good and that such a particularly challenging part for me in beginning therapy- and I was one of the biggest things I kept bringing to therapy- was
What does it mean that it felt good? What does that mean? Advise me somethin caring for children and when I first said this years ago, people like you crazy, because everybody wants to believe it's like sexual assault and you being thrown up against the wall and you're being raped. And I have said for years if the abuser is any good. It will. You won't even know it's happened, you will be in it and you won't even know it's happened and if they abuser is any good, He or she is going to make you feel like you're part of it. I mean nothing is more being of heart of it than what we discussed earlier
then you have you say you were married, you had marriage boughs and you have rings, nothing makes you feel more part of it. So you all know the Jackson family disagrees with everything. That's being said here today they issued a statement regarding the documentary. I will read part of it. They say we are furious, that the media, who, without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of to admit it liars over the word of hundreds of family and friends around the world who spent time with Michael many Neverland and Experience
is legendary kindness and his global generosity Michael, was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise rate of never land and other properties, as well as a jury trial where Michael was bound to be completely innocent. There's never been one piece of proof of anything the creators of this film we're not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single, solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their family.
That is a statement part of the statement from the micro jet Jackson family. So then, why didn't you interview anyone in the Michael Jackson, family farmers, not about Jackson, it's about what happened to wane James now. I think no one in the family disputes that Michael spent night after night after night, we little boys he spent many eyes with little boys different little boys. So there's no there's no dispute about that. What is the issue here is what happens when the bedroom door closed and the lights went off right. So who knows about that? Well, What happened was between weighed and Michael and between Jameson, Michael to my knowledge, there was none of you guys have mentioned that anyone else was in the room. There were any other Was there anybody else in the room when abuse was happening now? So how would you know what is what is the journalistic value? And
of intervening. Someone who says well, Michael, was a really nice guy and you ve never do anything to a child critically. If that person has a gigantic vested interest in your financial interest in smearing these, these two young men, And in discrediting them, so the idea is to say the opposite: that these guys have a financial interest. In therefore, Michael, is being spirit will they knew then they have no financial interests. Let me make that clear straight away and in my document tree there not being remunerated him anywhere, neither their families, and so this is a hypothetical financial interests. Yes, but will you file the lawsuit in what twenty fourteen thirteen? When you are team? You were looking for a financial one
what it's about was. I was trying to figure out a desire started, a rising in me through my once I was I don't know, maybe about nine months or so into my healing process after disclosing or question was what could could I do something good with this bad? You know what this horrible thing that happened to me. What could I do maybe turn it into something good. Is there a way? Is there a platform? Is there a place where I can tell this story? That would be a credible, powerful platform to tell it within. You know where they would have to listen right. They who they the estate, is that they would have to be here.
Accountable. You know I could have. I guess just gone on. Some tv shows and done some interviews in more than likely it would have been sensationalize in over in a couple of weeks. So for me, that's where it began as what you know, but that's one of the platforms we have is the legal system of cases where we bring this. And what did you think that you are owed me? You were old money that you should have. That wasn't wasn't it isn't a thought of mine, it's just that. That's system. The legal system is the place where. In what other scenario was the estate? Was Michael's company going to have to listen, going to have to sit there and all Big piece for me was my: trained me and forced me to tell the lie for so many years, and particularly on the stand and those
really traumatized experiences for me that had a huge impact on the rest of my life, so the feeling was. I want an opportunity to reprocess. Experience. I want to get on the stand again, because now I am able to tell the truth. Certainly I'm not holding you. Annabelle as an eleven year old. But as twenty three Kohler twenty two euro, when you testified- and I wonder, do you think about those boys do think about the boys for whom you testified against I think for me and in relation to the other boys I had no awareness of that at the time when I was eleven and when I was twenty two and twenty three
was so narrowly focused on my training to be a soldier for Michael and protect him that I had no. I couldn't think about anybody else in hindsight now and once I've gone note began this healing process man. I wish I wish it have been different? You know. I wish that I could have been ready when I was eleven. I wish that I could have been ready when I was twenty two to give Jordan to give given our visa some validation and some sense of justice, and to be able to play a role in stopping Michael at that point from abusing how or any other kids he abused? After that? I wish that could have been the case, but it just couldn't. Have you know I couldn't speak. The truth until I did. I was saying earlier that you get robbed of your childhood when you're holding the secret and this lie and
The main thing people understand is that it seems that it affects everybody differently. Wade was talking about how he did know himself hated himself. How could you because your identity has been stripped, and now you have this, this false identity? Would you hate yourself here? You have no idea why, but you don't know why, and I don't know if I have the understanding you you right now, I'm still working on. So how do you think, keeping the secret telling the lies, and now, as you say, coming forth with your truth, how his that impact of your life, the keeping of the secret, did what to your life? I don't know if I could continue
with the pain than I was in its that's no way to live. It's not it's not functional. The path I was on was there was no. There is no good and so the path I'm on now. I can work on myself and I can I can learn how to how tat might sound corny like a learned to love you now. Wait in the town your mom says that she had not asked you about the abuse, the details of the abuse, because she was afraid that she would have nightmares as she seen the film and heard the details. Now she has seen the film, but she asked them to skip the details of the sexual abuse again. How do you feel about that. That's a tough one. You know.
I wish she was no further along in her. Why does ability so Danube? You took the film to shelter. The mothers. Yes, yes and December. We I screamed foam separately to to the family. Members, yes and joy, asked me to fast forward through the graphic descriptions of the sex, because because she said she handle it? She would be too much for her and she wasn't ready come to terms with her? She wasn't ready to hear so James, you, mother, seen the film and what was her reactions to the details. The details of your abuse was at the first time she heard the details. It was the first time I think I think I shut off, watching it whether to get through her hearing it. I haven't even process not yet, but she's heard it when you meet
Let me have your mom here, what do you have to sit in a room with her to get through that? I did all turn out turn off So I turned off so I think I still need to go back into rivers that yeah. I hear that you when I'm watching the film you describe solving the third person. A lot you talk about when you do when you is, is that away protect yourself and distant. You noticed that, obviously, is the little maker. Also, just remember that James spoke of marking the present. He does this to you. Yes, I have no idea yeah yeah, so I'm seeing that sort of a dissociation from it you're still how soon yeah I'd. I dont know that understanding it I'd kinda. I was doing so. Let me ask you this. At the end of the film you say,
Your mother says that she had one job and that she, after it up and that as a result of her, not protecting you her life is a mess, your life, is amassed. You still feel like your life is a mess. Is a game later? I'll be working on this for the rest of my life. Have you for giving your mother? You said I'm working on it films or when you
finish that when last year's on one day have you have you got an area. Have you for giving. You might know right now, I'm trying to learn how to communicate with my mom, and I am also trying to get her to get help, because if you don't help yourself, you can't help other people, so she needs to work on her own issues so that she can understand what happened. She still hasn't really gotten any when you think about it, what do you actually think when you you you you hinted at it. I don't know what you left on the cutting room floor, but you knew how we all know how big Michael Jackson was and still is in your mother got caught up in that light she got caught up. In that thing, do you blame her for getting caught caught up ass? She came in the therapy. May after we watch the movie, I try I try to have sympathy for because she was groom
yeah- I'm not letting the shoe is groomed now and in the world was groomed as well. If you search you said something really great at the centre of premier women, the cure downstairs, you said forgiveness is, is not a line you cross its around. That you take I'll drive so you're on that road? You on that well with eye on our roads in it it would be, and it would be unfair to give it to her when it's not real and I and I I think she was hoping in the movie- I would say it is she was. She was hurt when I didn't, but I, but I would just wanted her to understand that you know just doesn't happen. You just don't go. I forgive you. It takes a lot of.
And you choose to put that work, and so I am telling her look, I'm choosing to to put in the work so that we can have a relationship we can start and actual relations, and that takes time and and don't rush it yeah and you have to start from where you are now right, not from what was around a boar, not we're not building what was that's gone outside. One of the things that change for me at some point in the last six years with my mother, At some point I realized tat. I was looking for her to say something. That was gonna, make it all better, though, is gonna be, can I go away and was going to make me feel better at some point, and I didn't know what that was. I just kept waiting for it, and she was never saying it she's never doing it, and once I realize that And realise that there was never going to be that thing. There's nothing. She could
for, say there was going to make it all better make it go away because she doesn't have that capable. Nobody has the capability outside of me to make it all better. You know all better about that, but to try to really he'll know so once I released that need, from her eyes. There was deftly a shift in our relationship that began because I feel like it released her up the pressure and are released me of needing something that she couldn't give me. So you don't have that for her anymore, that you need to release. You know. Have you forgiven? I am also in the past,
you're on the path. Have you question? Have you forgiven, Michael Jackson, also in Perth good? You know, you know it's strange and strange it like I. I felt guilt this weekend, fur like I. Let him down still there that shadow still there you let him down how, by speaking on here It's still, there just creeps out her. So when all the fans and the estate and all the anger you are you guys, gonna get it. You know that right, You don't get it, I'm gonna get it. We all want so are you prepared for that.
A minutes it's been happening for awhile we're just. I just received another death threat last night. You know, there's been many of those over the years. There's some level of it's, not it's hard to normal as to that bananas? Some level of familiar familiarity with that? Would you ve been able to do this? Is Michael Jackson was alive, Let me just say a man again: what was such a strong? Would you would you ve been able to do what you ve been able to yourself you're? Absolutely yes, so the question is: have you for giving yourself
I still struggle, certainly not if you eat, you certainly haven't been giving yourself if just this week in you were feeling bad night like you, let Michael down right cause. You were going to come here yeah. I have. You have forgiven for governments. How did you do that? How do I do that, as this process been helpful. Has this has as its doing rocks at all talking at out, seeing it on in documentary. For Cynthia to begin with being a part of the film and doing the interview with Dan. I talked about all of it. A lot in therapy but never in this way, and never in three days of hours a day, chronological order, yeah right. What happened for me in that process was. There is all these other pieces that came together form
Yes right all these other connections in the relationship with my father in the wedge in the way Michael drew that wedge between us and all of that stuff came to. Either for me in a whole new way, just in the process of telling the story to Dan and then First, seeing the film we saw, I saw the film a couple of weeks before we went to Sundance and sitting in watching a movie of my life and the most intimate details of my life was exe, in this area and I kind of kept associating as our watching it and trying to member. Alright. This is a movie about my life and all of this in and then next to be at Sundance in a room full of strangers watching the movie was extremely surreal and then we were introduced after that- that the first screening and like you guys
graciously? Did everyone stood up and started clapping for us and dumb as you know, I never witnessed public support before for this. So that that's been an incredible feeling. Unexpected does not the way it's been. I didn't expect that yeah, you expect. Did these continued lasting mode, overrun, yeah, yeah, evil doing the movie? I tried to set a healthy expectation, which was, I wouldn't, was gonna talk to other survivors, That was my audience
You're gonna change people's minds, is you know, that's not a healthy waited to know about it. You're just gonna be, is not getting the who anywhere So my focus was let I wanna talk to other survivors and obviously this this moment, like. Being was survivors like this is why you do the movie this is at this moment is: why and that is the reason to tell the story, because the story is bigger than as I send me it's bigger than any one person, and don't If anybody in your world make it just about what Michael Jackson did or did not do it's about this thing, this insidious pattern, that's happening in our culture that we refuse to look at. I love this quote from Marine Dowd Marine down the other day did an article in the in the New York Times where she was talking about. She wrote a column for
There are times when she asked the question about fame and she said celebrity supersedes criminality whether they have love outline your lovers when she said how can you see clearly when you are looking into the sun, how can an icon be a con So here's what so astute about that line. I think the reason the idea of Michael Jackson or any major person, committing sexual abuse against children challenges. So many people is because in every family you have to face that some things are not the way they appear to be and what people need to accept in their own families is that people can do good things. They can be loving and helpful at and also be an abuser and a person who does bad things both can
a true and we are experiencing this paradox as a reckoning in our country every day in the news where both things can be true, did you find that their that's something that the year, the opening minutes from these two guys saying what a wonderful warm kind, loving, generous person Michael, was and then he sexually these them and where's case for seven years, and those two truths are both present in the story and it said, be able to accommodate complicated truth, it's complicated and that's why that's why documentary exists in my view, is to tell complicated stories, but it's, I think when once people understand that an abuse or can be both your friend your best friend
and saw and your idle and your lover, and that can happen while you're a child and you never really disentangle those two things. You know and that's that's that's that's a painful things have to confront for most people. It seems like you further along in the disentanglement. You are weighed. Yes, they do so. Is it because you had more therapy, you thought about it more you. What were in everybody's journey is clearly. Individual and everybody's timing is completely different, that some I've really learned through this process saw it. There's there's no comparing anybody's journey life is, is is not this or that is this that and the other at the same time, yeah you know
Aren't you? Yes, I'm gonna be the final word on Lord, where you are in the process as it's, it's gonna be a lifelong journey for me and when this ends and the attention is no longer on the film I still gotta gone and deal with this, since this will be for the rest of my life. This this this moment will end and I still have a lot of work to do and I'm helping myself. So they can.
Better for my kids and my family and that's the goal to go well. Thank you all for being here. Actually I stopped scaring into the children I have so many victims feel that speaking up betrays the perpetrator, it betrays the family, but what we ve learned from watching you too, is that it's the ultimate betrayal of yourself, it's the ultimate material of yourself, and so, when you don't speak up, silence as more victims to occur. So thank you all for being here, I'm uber wintry an you been
listening to supersede conversations podcast you can hello, super soul on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. If you haven't yet go to apple pod, callous and subscribe rate and review of this progress join me next week for another supersede conversation. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2020-01-10.