Wade Robson, Michael Jackson
Years after defending Michael Jackson, choreographer and dancer Wade Robson now says the late pop star molested him as a child.
As a child, Robson appeared in three of Jackson's music videos and often slept over at his house. During Jackson's 2005 trial for molesting children, a then-22-year-old Robson, took the stand to defend him, saying the singer had never sexually abused him. Now, four year's after Jackson's death Robson is recanting his testimony and claiming that Jackson did, in fact, molest him during the years they worked together.
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Jackson's family is rejecting the claim as opportunism. "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," a lawyer for the Jackson estate told the New York Daily News. "Now, nearly four years after Michael has passed, this sad and less than credible claim has been made. We are confident that the court will see this for what it is."
In 1993, Robson (then age 10) gave an interview to CNN in which he stated, "We sleep in the same bed. We're both fully dressed. ... He sleeps on one side. I sleep on the other," according to a report in The Daily Beast.
But Robson's lawyer says his client had repressed the memories for years and only remembered the incidents recently, after suffering a nervous breakdown. "Last year, on a career trajectory that was off the charts, he [Wade] collapsed under the stress and sexual trauma of what had happened to him ... as a child," Henry Gradstein told TMZ. (Robson is a professional choreographer who has worked with artists including Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake and appeared on So You Think You Can Dance.)
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Gradstein claims that Jackson threatened Robson, saying that if he ever told anyone about what happened "our lives will be ruined forever." Adds Gradstein: "He lived with the brain washing by a sexual predator until the burden of it all crushed him."
During Jackson's 2005 trial, a former maid testified that she once saw Jackson and Robson showering together. But when Robson took the stand, he admitted to sharing a bed with Jackson prior to age 14, but told lawyers that the pop star had "absolutely not" ever molested him. "I can tell you right now that if he had, I wouldn't be here right now. ... I wouldn't stand for it," he testified.