On Wednesday night’s The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Oprah Winfrey sat down with Noah and explained why she still stands by the interview she did following HBO’s Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland. Winfrey told Noah that she “never wavered” despite recent news that there may be a timeline discrepancy in James Safechuck’s story.
“I had girls at my school who were sexually assaulted and abused. And I have never won a case,” she stated. “When you put a girl on the witness stand and she can’t remember was it Thursday or Wednesday, it’s automatically discredited.”
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, biographer Mike Smallcombe claimed there’s a discrepancy in Safechuck’s story of alleged abuse.
“The deficiency in Safechuck’s story is this — construction on Neverland’s train station didn’t start until the latter part of 1993, and it didn’t open until the first part of 1994, when Safechuck was 16. So abuse in the train station wasn’t possible if the abuse stopped in 1992, as he claims in his testimony, as it didn’t even exist then. There’s a two-year difference.”
Leaving Neverland’s director, Dan Reed, maintains the documentary is accurate.
1. James Safechuck was at Neverland both before and after the construction of the train station there. The two still photos of the station shown in #leavingneverland were in fact taken by James, who is very clear that he was abused by Jackson in multiple places over many years.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) April 4, 2019
2. #leavingneverland also makes clear that sexual contact between James and #MichaelJackson continued until James Safechuck was in his teenage years. The station at Neverland is just one of the many locations where James remembers sexual activity taking place.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) April 4, 2019
However, Smallcombe believes that Leaving Neverland was poorly investigated.
So @danreed1000 is now saying because the story has been debunked, suddenly the end of Safechuck’s abuse was when he was 16/17 rather than 14. It’s a three year discrepancy. Just hold your hands up, don’t change the story. This is what happens when you don’t investigate properly. https://t.co/EydUEztVJJ
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 31, 2019
Winfrey explained to Noah that it is typical of sexual assault victims to misremember details of their assaults.
“When you’re in the midst of trauma, something terrible is happening to you. You may not remember the exact time,” she said. “It was that hotel, but it was that hotel. ‘Oh, it probably never happened.”’
Fans remain divided on Michael Jackson’s innocence.
just watched leaving neverland. sick and disturbing. i’m disgusted.
— mackenzie (@leosdicapriio) April 11, 2019
There are times when I really wish @Oprah still had her daily show, when it would be so helpful, because consent is such an important topic and people disagreeing about what is ok is also ok. That is how we learn and how we progress. We need to talk more. https://t.co/1V5Kc7yEwc
— Ginger Edwin (@GingerMEdwin) March 31, 2019
I believe both victims. They are very credible. Oprah’s segment was enlightening. It made me really miss her daily show. She is a national treasure
— Andrea H (@andreah97530617) March 5, 2019
Trevor I would like to see you do your own research into the Leaving Neverland claims and not get swayed by a poorly researched one sided hit piece. The stories and timelines don’t add up and they are looking for a payout.
— Taneka T (@teetee729) April 11, 2019
Leaving neverland is the fakest tv scam I’ve ever seen.
— Mak (@makenziechae) April 11, 2019
So because Oprah couldn’t get convictions on child molesters for her students in s Africa , she automatically believes Leaving Neverland? That has to be the dumbest logic ever !……..smh
— Onyeka naija boy (@onyeka1emmanuel) April 11, 2019
Despite receiving hate, Winfrey explained her Leaving Neverland special was worth it in the hopes that it will help people understand the patterns of sexual abuse.
“People call it molestation, but there is a big seducing that goes on and the pattern of that seducing,” she explained. “And that was important enough for me to take the hateration for.”
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Watch Michael Jackson documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ leaves fans divided:
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