- Barbra Streisand said in a statement Saturday she was “profoundly sorry” for saying Michael Jackson’s accusers were “thrilled” to be with him when they were children.
- In an interview with The Times of London, Streisand said she believed the accusers’ allegations, but suggested that Jackson’s behaviour came from “whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
- In her apology statement, Streisand she had not chosen her words carefully, and had not intended to dismiss the trauma of Jackson’s accusers.
Barbra Streisand apologised Saturday after sparking widespread backlash for saying two men who have accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them when they were children were “thrilled” to be with him, and that the alleged abuse “didn’t kill them.”
Streisand had told The Times of London in an interview published March 22 that she believed the accusations made by James Safechuck and Wade Robson in the recent documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Safechuck and Robson detailed extensive sexual abuse at the hands of Jackson when they were young children, and the years-long process of realising that Jackson’s alleged behaviour was indeed abuse.
But Streisand also said she felt sympathy of Jackson, who died in 2009, and suggested that his alleged behaviour wasn’t entirely his fault.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” she said. “You can say, ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard them say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Streisand’s comments triggered an uproar on social media, where the hashtag #CancelBarbraStreisand quickly trended on Twitter.
On Saturday, Streisand walked back some of her remarks and apologised in a statement on Twitter. She said her comments to the news outlet “do not reflect my true feelings.”
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims,” she said. “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way.
“Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth,” she added.
Jackson denied all allegations against him while he was alive, and lawyers for his estate have since denounced “Leaving Neverland” and maintained that none of the accusations are true.
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