New evidence dug up in Michael Jackson case

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 30, 2019
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Flowers, a cake and other memorabilia to celebrate Michael Jackson's 61st birthday are placed in front of the pop icon's new statue installed in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, Aug. 29, 2019. [Photo courtesy of Liu Qi]

A Chinese-Canadian filmmaker will debut a new independent documentary film on the first child molestation case against American pop icon Michael Jackson in late September in Hollywood.

"Square One," made by Youtuber Danny Wu, is said to dig up new evidence from the notorious 1993 case involving alleged victim Jordan Chandler, which caused the downfall of Michael Jackson, who had been enjoying "juggernaut" status in the world's music landscape and pop culture before the case.

Wu, whose Chinese name is Wu Yue, told he actually contacted the individuals who had been on the witness list for the 2005 Michael Jackson child molestation case, the second one in the King of Pop's life which ended up with his acquittal, and got them to talk about never-before-heard testimonies about the case and insights. One of them is Josephine Zohny, a friend of Chandler who is ready to come forward and break the silence while Chandler himself went into hiding.

Thursday, Aug. 29, marked the late singer's 61st birthday anniversary, however, Jackson's reputation and music legacy was threatened and marred rather than being celebrated this year as a controversial documentary, "Leaving Neverland," made by Dan Reed caused an uproar and disputes online and in the public forum on whether Jackson actually harmed children. 

Danny Wu, filmmaker of the upcoming documentary "Square One," poses for the camera in an undated picture. [Photo courtesy of Danny Wu]

The documentary film, funded by HBO and Channel 4, debuted at Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25 with two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, bringing forward lewd claims against Jackson. The two were accused of being liars by Jackson fans and supporters, and their lawsuits were rejected by a judge while trying to sue Michael Jackson and his companies for millions if not billions of dollars.

"When 'Leaving Neverland' was announced, I was shocked, I didn't know what to think," Wu said, who admitted he was a casual fan since 2008 and once who danced to his music. "I thought he was guilty but it didn't feel right to just blindly accept it, so I did some research."

Wu was born in Chengdu, Sichuan province in 1996, and moved with his parents to Canada when he was 7 years old. As a basketball lover who also won many awards in this field, he once was more passionate about the game than Jackson but he still managed to imitate all the singer's dance moves. He actually performed for his school on June 17, 2009 for the first time, but just eight days later, Michael Jackson died of a propofol overdose administered by his personal doctor. 

"Michael Jackson's death really hit me hard," he said. Life also changed for him later, as he suffered two knee injuries that forced him to stop playing basketball. He then worked as a basketball coach and, two years ago, he found his new stardom online by making videos.

Michael Jackson fans gather to show support to their idol in Shanghai against the damaging documentary "Leaving Neverland" in February 2019. [Photo courtesy of Iris Zhang]

After "Leaving Neverland" stirred up a new round of controversy, he made two Michael Jackson videos showing the other side of the story, which would prove Jackson was indeed innocent despite the accusations. Each of his videos had around 100,000 views and he donated the money he made to Taj Jackson, the nephew of Michael Jackson who has been fundraising an untitled documentary series intended to clear all the misunderstandings, disinformation and false charges.

Taj Jackson and Brandi Jackson, niece of the pop star, later appeared in Wu's show to defend Michael Jackson, but he also realized that most of the allegations always led back to the 1993 case, so he started to investigate the original case and check the witness list, managing to persuade some to speak in his new film.

After making this film, Wu said his current position is: "Nothing is certain. We can't be certain of anything except that Michael Jackson is not here to defend himself. The inconsistencies of the accuser's stories are also undeniable and to ignore that, is irresponsible."

He added, "We also must not ignore the fact that Michael Jackson was found not guilty on 14 counts of child molestation. Thus, he should be assumed innocent, which I believe he is. Unless there is viable proof, I will not change my stance."

A large group of Chinese fans visit Michael Jackson's resting place at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California on June 25, 2019 to mark the 10th anniversary of his death . [Photo/]

The inconsistencies of "Leaving Neverland," as angry Jackson fans kept pointing out, included examples that James Safechuck said in the film that he was molested from 1988 until 1992 in Jackson's Neverland train station which was proved to not have been built until 1994, while Wade Robson also claimed he was molested by Jackson in 1990 while he was left alone with the singer and while his family went on a trip to the Grand Canyon. But in 1993, Robson testified in the Chandler case that he went with his family to the Grand Canyon. His mother, Joy Robson, said the same thing during her testimony.

Both the alleged victims never responded to the inconsistencies.

Comedian Dave Chappelle recently flat-out said that he didn't believe Robson and Safechuck in his latest Netflix comedy special "Sticks & Stones".

John Branca, the co-executor of the Estate of Michael Jackson, told TMZ on Aug. 27, "We agree with Dave Chappelle - these guys are liars. After years of exploiting Michael's generosity, they waited until he was gone and unable to defend himself before accusing him."

Danny Wu's "Square One," will premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood during the Indie Night Film Festival on Sept. 28, and will be released online on Oct. 5 worldwide.

A poster of "Square One." [Image courtesy of Danny Wu]

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