While the Jackson family's wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live continues in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, another Jackson-related drama is playing out.
Dancer/choreographer Wade Robson filed suit against the Michael Jackson estate last week, alleging that Jackson sexually abused him from age seven through 14. This morning he appeared on the "Today" show — and in a bombshell interview with host Matt Lauer, spilled the beans on his relationship with Jackson and explained why he waited until now to come forward with the allegations.
First, Robson denied reports that he failed to initially come forward with the abuse because he was dealing with "repressed memory." Robson said, "I never forgot for one moment of what Michael did to me, but I was psychologically and emotionally completely unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse."
Robson claims that's why he testified in Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial that Jackson did not abuse him. Robson said that Jackson told him their relationship was "an expression of our love" — but also added the threat "If you ever tell anyone what we're doing, both of our lives and our careers will be over."
The dancer/choreographer came to the realization that he need to speak out about the abuse when he saw a therapist for treatment following a nervous breakdown. "For the first time in my life I began to realize that my completely numb and unexplored feelings in relation to what Michael did to me might be a problem, and maybe I need to speak to someone about it," he said.
But, Robson said, he's not doing this for monetary gain. "I've lived in silence and denial for 22 years and I can't spend another moment in that. In order to truly heal, I have to speak my truth and have to speak the whole truth…I'm never going to go away for money," he said.
In closing, Robson said that Jackson was an "incredibly talented artist," but he was also a "troubled man" and "a pedophile."
A professional dancer since childhood, Robson appeared on "Star Search" in 1990 dancing to Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" and also appeared in his music videos for "Black or White," "Jam" and "Heal the World." He went on to choreograph and direct videos and world tours for 'N Sync and Britney Spears, had his own MTV show called "The Wade Robson Project" and appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" as a judge and a dancer. In a 2009 interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Robson said he learned so much from Jackson "as an artist and kind human being."