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Never Leaving Neverland: How Jackson’s Accusers Really Felt About the Famous Ranch

Despite the dramatic resolution in “Leaving Neverland”, it seems that, throughout the years, the two men in the film did not actually intend to leave Neverland. At least not before they decided to file their civil lawsuits against Jackson’s Estate. Instead, years following their alleged abuse, both Robson and Safechuck kept returning back to enjoy Michael Jackson’s famous ranch even when he wasn’t there. They used the scenic place for their art, as their haven, and as their place for festivities – including a remarkable incident when Robson planned to have his wedding at Jackson’s home.


Is it really conceivable that the men who allege to have been molested at every corner of the ranch, insist on coming back to the place of their childhood trauma, as adults? Can you imagine anyone would want to get married in the very place he claims to have been abused throughout his entire childhood? Could it really be that said person called his abuser’s house a “Sacred land”?


Apparently Wade Robson and James Safechuck want you to believe it’s all possible.


[It's important to note: Robson and Safechuck both insist they've never forgotten or repressed what allegedly happened to them at Neverland.]


March 2007, Robson’s visit in Neverland: “Thanks to MJ for allowing us to use his sacred land”

The people behind “Leaving Neverland” undoubtedly attempted justify its name and link the allegations to Michael Jackson's famous home. Large portions of the film focused on the star’s colorful ranch, with drone videos and archival footage of the most famous spots and attractions at Jackson’s home. These images were shown along Robson and Safechuck’s most horrifying stories of ongoing sexual abuse, which they allege to have happened at every corner of Neverland. It appears, from their own accounts, that their memories from Neverland are strongly linked with difficult traumas and inexorable pain that they’ve never been able to forget. If those claims are true, Neverland is definitely a place they had to leave.


But before their multi-million lawsuits and their HBO documentary, Neverland was never a place they wished to leave. It was nothing short of “Sacred” in Robson’s eyes. Through the years, Robson returned to Neverland time and time again. When he was asked about the place, he excitedly gasped “It's like Disneyland, it's the best thing in the world!"


In fact, Robson cherished Neverland so much, that when he wanted to marry his then fiancé, Amanda, he asked – begged – to hold the wedding ceremony right there, of all places. It was Grace Rwaramba, Michael Jackson’s long-time assistant and his children’s nanny, who recalled Robson’s odd and untimely request:

“The Robsons’ ambition and self-interest knew no bounds, Several months before Michael was acquitted on all charges on June 13, 2005, he came home from court and informed me that I should expect a call from Wade. When Wade called the ranch, security patched the call through to Paris’s room where Michael and I spent most of our time preparing for the next day. I put him on speaker phone, He informed me that Michael had advised him to contact me about whether he and his finance, Amanda, could have their wedding at Neverland in the fall. I was utterly shocked by how insensitive the request was; Michael was sitting next to me. ’You know Grace, Neverland is so special to my family and me,’ Wade continued, Michael has been like a father to me, and it would mean the world to us if Amanda and I could get married at Neverland.’ I told Wade, this is not a good time, reminding him that Michael was in the middle of the fight for his life.”


Wade’s mother, Joy, tried to help her son get Jackson’s approval. “A few days later, I was in Santa Barbara running errands when Joy [Wade Robson’s mother] called with the same request. I had previously helped Wade gain permission to film a music video at Neverland, which was a big favor considering the strict no cameras policy. I remember responding with a stern ‘do you seriously expect me to ask Michael, right now — during the trial — if you can use the ranch for Wade’s wedding?’ After a moment of awkward tension, she conceded and dropped off the phone.”

Finally, Rwaramba expressed her doubts regarding Wade’s claims in the documentary, “Why would someone who alleges to have been assaulted for over seven years want to have one of the most sacred events in his life on the same property where the attacks allegedly took place? What I can’t understand is why Wade would continue to voluntarily and consistently return, and bring friends and loved ones, to a place that is the site of the alleged attacks well into his adult life?”

March 2005, Robson and his fiancé outside the courthouse

Indeed, the wedding ceremony wasn’t the only significant event Wade wanted to hold at Neverland. In 2007, Robson and his wife Amanda jointly pursued a career in filmmaking. Their second project together was “WITHIN”, a spiritual short film they shot at Neverland ranch. Jackson allowed them to shoot there, but he wasn’t present in his property.

The synopsis reads: “At the point of self-destruction, a young woman allows herself to experience an awakening”. The film begins with the woman trapped in a dark and scary room. After she wakes up from her “nightmare”, she finds at Neverland, which represents her awakening in a warm and beautiful surrounding.


The Robsons at Neverland, 2007

At the end of the film, Wade and Amanda included dedicated credit to Jackson: "Wade & Amanda Robson would like to thank MJ, for allowing us to use his sacred land,” they also thanked Grace Rwaramba, “for making it happen."





The couple later used one of Jackson’s trees as their company logo, which they used up until 2012 (when Wade filed his lawsuit against Jackson)

WITHIN/LIGHT TREE PRODUCTIONS LOGO

According to various accounts and testimonies, by friends and family members, Wade Robson and James Safechuck visited Neverland many times, as children, but also as adults. Per Wade and Joy Robson’s court deposition, Jackson wasn’t even present in the ranch in most of their visits.


Robson’s documentary/lawsuit partner, James Safechuck, also shares filmmaking aspirations. When Safechuck turned 18, he, too, shot his own film Jackson’s ranch. In fact, most of the pictures that are shown in their documentary, actually came from Safechuck’s film sessions at Neverland (including photos from the Neverland train station, where he claimed to had been abused 3 years before it even existed).

James Safechuck's shooting sessions at Neverland

Perhaps the most perplexing part of this story, is the identity of the one person who actually did leave Neverland -- for good: Michael Jackson. Unlike the co-plaintiffs in "Leaving Neverland", who didn't seem to have any kind traumatic memories from the Ranch up until their lawsuits, Jackson is the one who couldn't go back to his own home. Following his acquittal in 2005, Michael Jackson was traumatized by happened during his trial, and decided Neverland was not a place for him and his children anymore. He believed the place he used to call home was violated with bad memories: “I won't live there ever again. I'll visit Neverland. It's a house now. It's not a home anymore. I'll only visit there,” he told “60 Minutes” in December 2003.





In June 2005 Jackson has left his ranch and never returned.







Further read

25 Lies They Told You in "Leaving Neverland"

Life in The Shadow of False Allegations


Sources

Michael Jackson's Former Nanny Defends Him Following Allegations in Leaving Neverland

Jackson Interview Transcript Interview With Ed Bradley On '60 Minutes'

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