Barbra Streisand believes the sexual-abuse allegations made against fellow superstar singer Michael Jackson, but she says she feels sorry for Jackson, too.
Her comments have drawn online backlash.
In a wide-ranging interview published Friday by The Times of London, Streisand says she believes the accusations made by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, in the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland.”
“Oh, absolutely. That was too painful,” says Streisand, who told the paper she met Jackson a couple of times and turned down his request for a duet of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” “He was very sweet, very childlike.”
Asked about the abusive behavior alleged in the documentary, Streisand says: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
She also assesses how the long-term effects felt by Robson and Safechuck. “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.”
Streisand says she has a combination of feelings about the situation. “I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.”
The superstar has since faced online backlash for her comments.
“Barbara Streisand’s comments on Michael Jackson’s accusers are … outrageous and perplexing to say the very least,” Alexander W. McCall tweeted.
Barbra Streisand’s comments on Michael Jackson’s accusers are … outrageous and perplexing to say the very least. pic.twitter.com/eFSTZUu4bz— Alexander W. McCall (@awmccall) March 22, 2019
Anthony King also tweeted criticism: “Shame on you @BarbraStreisand for disrespecting the victims of child rape. Low class, dismissive and a shocking trivialisation. To speak up for a child abuser… I expect it from the deranged MJ fans but not from you, who should know better.”
Shame on you @BarbraStreisand for disrespecting the victims of child rape. Low class, dismissive and a shocking trivialisation. To speak up for a child abuser… I expect it from the deranged MJ fans but not from you, who should know better. #LeavingNeverland#victimshamershttps://t.co/e2yns2h77f— Anthony King (@anthonyking1) March 22, 2019
The singer Barbra Streisand has apologised after she was criticised for sympathising with Michael Jackson over child abuse accusations against him.
Streisand told The Times newspaper that she believed the allegations against the late superstar but said his actions “didn’t kill” the accusers.
She later wrote on Instagram that she was “profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding” caused.
She later said in a statement that she believed the parents of the two young men “were also victimised and seduced by fame and fantasy”.”To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone,” her statement reads.She also wrote in a social media post that she “didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way”.
Jackson was dogged by allegations of child abuse before his death in 2009 – allegations he denied.
In 2003, police raided his Neverland Ranch in California while investigating claims he had molested a 13-year-old boy. He was acquitted of all charges in 2005.
Image: Barbra Streisand introduces “BlacKkKlansman” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (left) and Michael Jackson,