by Shwetha Sundarrajan With the multiple allegations of sexual and physical abuse piling onto singer R. Kelly with the release of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, HBO producers are releasing a new documentary called Leaving Neverland regarding the late Micheal Jackson’s multiple accusations of child molestation. https://www.flickr.com/photos/andosteinmetz/3448098887 Just like R. Kelly furiously denying allegations, the Jackson estate has publicly condemned the documentary which is set to premiere at the Sundance festival. According to a statement from the Jackson estate, “this is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson." [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="798"] Image from Movieweb[/caption] Jackson was first accused of child molestation in 1993 by dentist Evan Chandler who claimed that Jackson had sexually abused his 13-year-old son. Although Jackson was cleared of all charges in this instance, the accusations would follow him for decades, even until his death. In 2003, a documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir showed Jackson being intimate with the Arvizo brothers, and in an article by Oxygen magazine said that Jackson “appeared intimate with Gavin, holding hands while Gavin rested his head on Jackson’s shoulder. They said they were 'really close' and 'best friends'. The biggest revelation of the documentary was Gavin telling the camera that he slept in Jackson’s bed, while Jackson's slept on the floor. The documentary also revealed that many children had slept in that same bed, including the Culkin brothers, Macaulay and Kieran. Jackson insisted it wasn’t sexual.” The Sundance Festival’s synopsis of the film reads, “At the height of his stardom Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families. Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson, and how they came to terms with it years later.” Similar to the R. Kelly controversy, many Michael Jackson fans have flocked to the late singer’s defense, pressuring the Sundance film festival to pull the documentary. However, the festival released a statement saying, “It has come to our attention that some of you may have received messages or social media posts from Michael Jackson fans who would like us to pull the screening of ‘Leaving Neverland,’” the statement read. “Sundance Institute supports artists in enabling them to fully tell bold, independent stories, stories on topics which can be provocative or challenging. We look forward to audiences at the Festival seeing these films and judging the work for themselves, and discussing it afterward.” Similar to Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which documents the artist's history of sexual abuse and psychological manipulation of young women and underage girls, and charges of possession of child pornography, Leaving Neverland shows how famous artists like Michael Jackson and R. Kelly can get away with crimes without sacrificing their fame or fortune.