Oprah Winfrey will interview the two men at the center of Michael Jackson sexual abuse documentary, Leaving Neverland, for a special that will be broadcast on HBO and OWN after the film airs.
The two-part documentary tells the stories of James Safechuck, now 40, and Wade Robson, now 36, who allege Jackson sexually molested them as children.
Winfrey’s interview with the accusers and the film’s director is set to air at 10 p.m. on March 4, immediately following the second installment of the documentary.
“HBO and OWN will present Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland a conversation hosted by Oprah Winfrey featuring Wade Robson and James Safechuck, subjects of the two-part HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, alongside director Dan Reed,” HBO said in a press release.
Robson met Jackson after winning a dance competition during the singer’s 1987 “Bad” tour in Australia. Safechuck, now a computer programmer, was a child actor who appeared with Jackson in a Pepsi commercial.
Robson and Safechuck allege in the film that the abuse began when they were 7 and 10 years old. At the time, both boys were huge Jackson fans and wanted careers in the entertainment industry.
In the recently released trailer for the four-hour documentary, Robson said Jackson swore him to secrecy about the alleged abuse.
“He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives,” Robson recalled.
Oprah’s Q&A discussion with Robson, Safechuck and Reed will be “taped before an audience of survivors of sexual abuse and others whose lives have been impacted by it,” HBO said.
The special will also be made available as part of Winfrey’s “Oprah SuperSoul Conversations” podcast.
The documentary debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and left the audience in disbelief.
“Leaving Neverland is the most damning examination of Michael Jackson’s conduct with young boys ever created,” Nonfiction Film Editor-in-Chief Matthew Carey told Urban Hollywood 411 after the screening.
Jackson’s estate has slammed the documentary as “tabloid character assassination.”
Last week, the estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO over the documentary, claiming it violates a 1992 contract to air a Jackson concert.
“It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause,” said the suit obtained by The Associated Press.
Jackson was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, at his Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif. However, he was acquitted of all charges related to the allegations.
Despite efforts to stop HBO from airing Leaving Neverland, the film is set to debut on Sunday, March 3 (8:00–10:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by the second part the following night, Monday, March 4 (8:00–10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.