THE Channel 4 documentary Leaving Neverland focuses the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson from two accusers – Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
However, Brett Barnes, a third boy, was briefly mentioned. We explain who he is and what is his connection to the King of Pop.
Who is Brett Barnes?
Brett Barnes is a 37-year-old man who met Michael Jackson in 1987 at the age of five.
He wrote a fan letter and slipped it to one of Jacko’s backing dancer during a concert.
By the time he was nine, Barnes and is family were invited to the Neverland Ranch.
He has also said that he visited the ranch alone.
Barnes lives in Melbourne, Australia, according to his unverified Twitter account.
Has he accused Jackson of sexual abuse?
Barnes has always defended Jackson when it comes to sex abuse allegations.
When Jordan Chandler accused Jackson of sexual misconduct in 1993, Barnes defended him.
At the time, Barnes was asked about the sleepovers with Jackson.
He claimed he “slept on one side of the bed” while Jackson “slept on the other” side and did not find that unusual.
He has also told reporters in the past: “He kissed you like you kiss your mother.
“It’s not unusual for him to hug, kiss and nuzzle up to you and stuff.”
During Jackson’s 2005 trial, Barns testified that Jackson had “absolutely not” molested him.
When asked if the music icon ever touched him in a sexual way he said: “Never. I wouldn’t stand for it”.
Both Culkin and Barnes denied being sexually abused by Jackson.
Why wasn’t Barnes interviewed for Leaving Neverland?
Some reports suggest he turned down being interviewed, but the director Dan Reed didn’t want to interview him.
He told USA Today that his decision to omit Barnes’ story doesn’t negate what happened to Robson and Safechuck.
Reed said: “No one else was in the bedroom with them.
“If there are people out there who were also intimate with Michael Jackson and spent many nights with him in bed that were not molested, that’s fine.
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“It doesn’t in any way negate the story of these two individuals.”
Barnes is reportedly looking to sue HBO contending Leaving Neverland depicts him in a false light by suggesting his relationship with Jacko amounts to sexual abuse and it will subject him to “hatred, contempt and ridicule”.
His written denial is aired in the documentary for a few seconds, but Barnes doesn’t think it will “cure such a despicable allegation”.