LOUISE O'NEILL: I often wonder why people find it so difficult to believe how prevalent sexual violence is

This week, I watched Leaving Neverland, the documentary about James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who allege that when they were children they were sexually molested by Michael Jackson.

The film is four hours long and contains deeply disturbing and specific details of sexual abuse; the similarities of the men’s stories, of how they and their families were groomed, are chilling.

When my boyfriend and I finished watching the documentary, I said to him that surely no-one would be able to watch Leaving Neverland and doubt that Robson and Safechuck were telling the truth. In response, he held up his phone and showed me some of the comments under the #LeavingNeverland on Twitter.

These ranged from sceptical to sadistic. I assumed these were all hardcore Jackson fanatics (side note: I can’t imagine ever loving someone’s music or books or movies so much that I would ignore allegations of child rape in order to continue enjoying their work), but the next day, when I mentioned to an acquaintance that I had watched the documentary and found it harrowing, they shrugged and said they thought it seemed “a little far-fetched”.

Sign in or register for FREE to continue enjoying and to comment on our great range of writers

Not a member yet? Register here

More on this topic

Madonna breaks her silence over Michael Jackson abuse allegations

Streisand hits back after online criticism of Michael Jackson comments

Michael Jackson ‘innocent’ campaigners criticise removal of bus posters

Michael Jackson Tribute tour cancels all four Irish shows

More in this Section

Plants you can pop on your patio for summer

A Question of Taste with Cormac Begley

Will Smith lets the Genie out of the bottle about Aladdin

New album of Rory Gallagher's music features unreleased tracks

More by this author

Talent is important but can't be sustained without good work ethic

It’s terrible how complacent we can become about Irish tourist attractions

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realise that one cannot eat money

Libraries must be protected. If you’re not a member of your local library, why not?

Latest Showbiz

Westlife ‘ecstatic and emotional’ as comeback tour kicks off in Belfast

Cast and title announced for director Christopher Nolan’s latest film

UK’s Eurovision entry has score lowered by five points

Quentin Tarantino bristles at question about Margot Robbie’s role in latest film

More From The Irish Examiner