Photo: Chris McKay (Getty Images)

Corey Feldman had a tendency, especially when he was younger, to dress up and perform as Michael Jackson, with whom the child actor was close during the early years of his career. Feldman’s genuinely riveting autobiography, Coreyography, expounds upon their relationship in great detail, portraying it as an innocent friendship in an industry filled with predators, the likes of whom allegedly preyed upon both Feldman and his co-star, Corey Haim, when they were pre-teens. Over the last several years, Feldman’s worked to be an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, so his voice should be heard in the wake of Leaving Neverland, HBO’s two-part documentary detailing allegations of sexual abuse against the singer by two men who, at the time, were underage.

Feldman addressed the documentary in a series of tweets, calling it “one-sided” and defending Jackson by saying the singer “never once swore in my presence, never touched me inappropriately, [and] never ever suggested we should be lovers in any way.” After receiving criticism for his stance on Twitter, Feldman spoke to Page Six to clarify his initial response.

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Feldman said he’s not calling Leaving Neverland’s subjects, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, liars. “Every victim’s voice must be taken seriously and must be heard,” he said. “In no way would I ever intimate that I would want them to be silenced.”

“If God forbid these things were true, then there is a completely different Michael that I knew,” he continued. “What happened with me [and Jackson] was strictly aboveboard. We’d be on the phone for hours. You’re talking about someone who has spent their life in the industry, who grew up in the industry and didn’t have a childhood and have friends and have sleepovers, I could relate. That was my life. We both came from abuse—abusive homes. There is not a lot of kindred minds that can connect on those levels or achieve the success he had. That was the common ground we shared.”

“I have to give my personal experiences because it’s someone who was a friend to me and treated me as such,” he added. “I don’t think we can go jumping on a bandwagon without evidence. That’s why there are court cases and cross-examinations…when [Jackson] was on trial [ending in 2005], he was cleared of all the charges…I don’t think anyone can take [the allegations] lightly, but I also don’t think we should go making a judgment on information we have that’s strictly conversation without backup.”

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He does, however, say that Jackson warned him of “how dangerous” sex can be, going so far as to show him a “book of venereal diseases.”

Macaulay Culkin, another child actor who spent time with Jackson as a child, shot down any rumors of inappropriate behavior on a 2018 episode of WTF With Marc Maron. He also addressed it on a January episode of Inside Of You With Michael Rosenbaum, saying their relationship was “so normal and mundane.” 

Jackson’s estate, which previously called the documentary a “public lynching,” recently filed a lawsuit against HBO, who is standing by the film.

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