Corey Feldman, who has said he was molested as a child, has clarified tweets he sent that seemed to defend Michael Jackson.
“I want to be very clear. I stand for any and all victims of sexual abuse or assault,” Feldman said in a statement provided to CNN. “As a survivor and someone who has been fighting for this to become a focal topic of our society for decades and is fighting diligently to abolish the statutes of limitations across the country, I applaud all victims for letting their voices be heard and I encourage the public debate to continue.”
The former child star had earlier slammed the documentary, which alleged that Jackson was a child sexual predator, as “one-sided.”
Feldman tweeted a lengthy statement Monday giving his thoughts about HBO’s “Leaving Neverland.” (HBO is owned by CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia.)
The film examines disturbing claims by James Safechuck and Wade Robson that Jackson sexually abused them over a period of several years when they were children.
Jackson’s family has denied the allegations and condemned the documentary, calling it a “public lynching” and Jackson’s accusers “admitted liars” in reference to sworn statements they both made while Jackson was alive that he did not molest them.
Feldman was friends with Jackson as a youngster and said he had fond memories of the late pop star.
“My memories. And thank god 4 me, my memories of MJ were mostly fond, aside from r 1 & only fight because he incorrectly feared i would turn on him, & make up lies,” Feldman tweeted. “I never did. I never would! I pray those boys can sleep w that same clarity of consciousness! Let god b thy judge!”
Feldman said he “took issue” with the documentary given that Jackson, who died in 2009, is not around to defend himself.
“So given the opportunity which he certainly had w me & others, being alone, w no parents around, how did he control those urges so well, while so blatantly sexual w those 2 boys?,” Feldman tweeted. “It doesnt really fit the profile. But what motive besides $ do they hav? Abandonment is a strong 1!”
Both men filed suits – Robson in 2013 and Safechuck in 2014 – against the singer’s estate. (Jackson’s estate denied the accusations. Their cases were initially dismissed but reportedly remain under appeal.)
During the “After Neverland” special hosted by Oprah Winfrey, “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed said the men were not compensated to appear in the documentary.
The “Goonies” star said that while he wasn’t present when Safechuck and Robson were with Jackson, he was friends with the singer around the same time as Safechuck.
“Giv ppl a real look @ what a 30 yr old man/child & a 13 yr old boy would discuss, so every1 could hear the innocence of r relationship,” Feldman tweeted. “Again iI wasnt there when those boys were. But I was there around the same time as Jimmy, & iI saw many kids around (girls included) who i am still friends with 2 this day, & none of us were ever approached by him in a sexual way at all!”
Feldman added, “So as much as those 2 men deserve 2 hav their voices heard, so do the thousands of kids who hung around him, that dont agree! Most pedos r serial offenders. They dont hav self control.”
In the statement released Tuesday, Feldman said “Hopefully, this will not only shine a light on the accused and the accusers, but will strike a chord with parents who need to become aware of warning signs in their own children so that they can protect them.”
“Michael was my friend, but that does not mean I condone any harmful behavior, physical or mental,” Feldman said. “This is new information to me too. It takes time to absorb and process. I myself as a survivor, wouldn’t be in this position if I had not been deceived myself by several abusive men.”
“Thus, I am not in a position to make judgement calls on this topic and contrary to media reports, I do not defend Michael Jackson or any other person who has been accused of these kinds of crimes,” he added. “We must preserve the innocence of our children at all costs and we must insist that we don’t have to wait until the criminal in question is deceased and can no longer face charges and justice can truly be served.”
Feldman concluded his statement by saying “Abusive behavior is simply unacceptable and cannot be tolerated, excused or justified under any circumstances.”