Corey Feldman appeared on HLN this week to discuss the controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two men, choreographer Wade Robson and computer programmer James Safechuck, make gut-wrenching accusations about having been sexually abused by Michael Jackson as kids. Feldman, who also alleges that he was abused as a teen by an adult he trusted, appeared to clarify previous remarks in which he seemingly defended the late pop star who had also befriended him as a child.
After watching the documentary however, he says he can no longer defend Jackson — although maintains that the relationships described by Robson and Safechuck were in stark contrast to his own experience.
“As I mentioned in [a previous statement], it is obviously a very emotional time for me, and this is obviously a very emotional process of any survivor of abuse,” Feldman said, when asked how he was processing everything. He then asked people to put themselves in his shoes:
“I don’t want to be perceived as I’m here to defend Michael, because I can no longer do that. I cannot in good consciousness defend anyone who’s being accused of such horrendous crimes. But at the same time, I’m also not here to judge him, because again, he did not do those things to me and that was not my experience. So, therefore, my place is not to be the judge and is not to be the accuser, and not to be the defender.”
Feldman went on to say that his goal was to reform the statute of limitations so that other survivors of sexual abuse can get justice when given the time to process and understand what had happened to them.
Feldman’s remarks on HLN seem to pull a complete 180 on his previous thoughts on Jackson and Leaving Neverland, which he made clear in a flurry of tweets previous to his HLN appearance.
In either case (and as an alleged victim himself), Feldman, should know to refrain from questioning survivors of sexual assault, so at the very least, perhaps this was a teaching moment for him.