Award-winning choreographer Wade Robson, 30, recently came out and accused the late pop superstar Michael Jackson of sexually abusing him for seven years. On Thursday, he appeared on “Today,” and outlined not just the molestation but the reasons behind his silence.
In terms of his extended silence, Robson was quite clear, as he told Matt Lauer that Jackson, who died in 2009, was “a pedophile and a child sexual abuser.” He added that Jackson “performed sexual acts on me and forced me to perform sexual acts on him” from the age of seven, until Robson was 14.
This story became public because, although the deadline has passed for creditors to file claims against the Jackson estate, Robson has asked a probate court to allow him to file a late creditor’s claim against it.
That filing was noted by TMZ, and since then, accusations have arisen, including from the Jackson family, saying that Robson’s claim is all about money. His claim of abuse arose just as a case brought by Jackson’s family against AEG Live began in civil court. AEG Live were the promoters of his final concert tour, which was aborted when Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of in acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, and cardiac arrest.
On “Today,” Robson gave a different reason for issuing his claim now. He said that it wasn’t until he began to realize how he would feel if a stranger molested his son (born two years ago) that he felt ready to face up to the truth.
This is not a case of repressed memory. I have never forgotten 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.
According to sources, Robson first saw a therapist following a nervous breakdown. He referenced that breakdown on “Today,” saying:
[…] 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.
Howard Weitzman, a lawyer for Jackson’s estate, said in a statement:
Mr. Robson’s claim is outrageous and pathetic. This is a young man who has testified at least twice under oath over the past 20 years and said in numerous interviews that Michael Jackson never did anything inappropriate to him or with him. Now, nearly four years after Michael has passed, this sad and less-than-credible claim has been made.
Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother, came out with a simple response to the Robson claim: “He’s full of sh*t.”
Why, then, did Robson testify during Michael Jackson’s trial in 2005 that the superstar did not sexually abuse him? According to Robson, Jackson manipulated him, both during the trial and earlier.
Robson said Michael told him what they were doing was “an expression of love,” and that Jackson also added, “if you ever tell anyone what we’re doing, both of our lives and our careers will be over.”
Watch the “Today” appearance, embedded.