Joanita Wibowo

Barbra Streisand backlash: Issues apology over controversial Michael Jackson comments

Barbra Streisand backlash: Issues apology over controversial Michael Jackson comments

Barbra Streisand has apologised for her remarks about Michael Jackson and the two men who have accused him of sexual abuse.

Streisand has been slammed after saying in a recent interview that Jackson’s accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, were “thrilled to be there” and that the alleged sexual abuse “didn’t kill them”.

Robson and Safechuck, who were featured in the documentary Leaving Neverland, told the BBC that Jackson abused them from the ages of seven and 10.

In an interview with The Times, Streisand said she “absolutely” believed Robson and Safechuck’s claims. However, she added: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.

“You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

Backlash has ensued following the publication of the interview. “‘His sexual needs were his sexual needs’ – is pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?” said Dan Reed, the documentary’s director.

Streisand then gave a statement to the Associated Press and posted an extended apology online.

“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,” she said in a statement on Instagram.

“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.”

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A post shared by Barbra Streisand (@barbrastreisand) on Mar 23, 2019 at 1:57pm PDT

Over the years, the Jackson estate have denied any allegations that the pop star behaved inappropriately with children.

“I want them to understand and know that this documentary is not telling truth,” Jackson’s brother Marlon told CBS This Morning. “There has not been not one piece of evidence that corroborates their story.”

Jackson, who died in 2009, settled out of court for a child molestation lawsuit in 1993 and was acquitted for charges that he molested a 13-year-old boy in 2005.