Michael Jackson's photographer slams Leaving Neverland and claims director is 'twisting his words' over train station abuse dates

Michael Jackson's photographer slams Leaving Neverland and claims director is 'twisting his words' over train station abuse dates

May 6, 2019

MICHAEL Jackson’s photographer has condemned the director of bombshell documentary Leaving Neverland as a “perpetrator of lies”.

Harrison Funk is the latest ex-pal of the singer to speak out against the controversial HBO doc where accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck have claimed the King of Pop abused them.

Safechuck, now 41, claims he was molested until the age of 14, including in a room at a train station on the Neverland Ranch.

But the singer’s estate family have called into question the accuracy of the documentary after it emerged a planning permission request for the building was lodged two years after the abuse was alleged to have happened.

Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed was forced into a seemingly embarrassing U-turn by the discrepancies in the dates.

But after new information emerged, which allegedly included an account by Jackon’s photographer Harrison Funk, Reed tweeted: "The train station — one of many Neverland locations where @jamessafechuck was abused — was already complete before the 1993 construction permit was approved, says #MichaelJackson personal photographer @harrisonfunk in an engagingly candid Jan 2019 podcast."

But Harrison rejected this, tweeting: "Regarding the lies perpetrated by Danny & his posse of haters and for the record: my comments in the @TheMJCast interview did not contain a date.

"Reed fabricated a date and spin to suit his agenda. FACT: the photo shoot that I spoke of was of statues at Neverland JUNE, 1994."

Other information appears to back up Safechuck’s story with accounts of how a train station was unveiled in 1990, the Mirror reports.

In their account of working for Jackson, former bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard both describe how there was a big unveiling ceremony that year.

"In 1990, Michael Jackson opened the gates of his Neverland Valley Ranch to the public for the first time,” they wrote in Remembering The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days.

"Neverland's visitors entered the ranch at its train station, boarding a steam engine that took them up to the main house."

Another account of the station opening came from Randall Sullivan in Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson.

Sullivan said: "Reporters invited to tour Neverland at the 1990 public unveiling most often began by inspecting the towering statue of Mercury (the Roman God of profit, trade and commerce) in the drive of the mansion.

"Then climbed a hill out back that led to a near replica of the Main Street train station at Disneyland, with a floral clock that was more magnificent than the one Walt Disney had designed for his own park."

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In the explosive documentary, accusers Robson and Safechuck have claimed Jackson had abused them from the ages of 10 and seven respectively, after they were befriended by the King of Pop.

The Jackson family have hit back at the allegations and compared the hounding of Michael to a "public lynching", especially as the late singer is unable to defend himself in person.

While alive the superstar was accused of child molestation numerous times but was never convicted.

Michael Jackson died in 2009 at the aged of 50 of a drugs overdose.

 

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