Barbra Streisand has faced significant backlash in the wake of controversial comments she made about the allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson. In an interview with the Evening Standard yesterday, she said that she “absolutely” believes Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two men who claim that Jackson abused them when they were children in the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, but still went on to express sympathy for Jackson himself.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand said. “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.” She added that she has “a combination of feelings” about the situation and continued, “I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.”
Now, after receiving criticism for her remarks, Variety reports that Streisand has issued a follow-up statement clarifying her position. “To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone,” she says. “The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.”