Michael Jackson Child Molestation Claims: Family Finally Responds

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Earlier this week, a new documentary about Michael Jackson premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Like Surviving R. Kelly before it, Leaving Neverland sheds new light on shocking sexual assault allegations against one of the most powerful and protected men in the music industry.

Smiling Michael Jackson

A major difference between the two situations, of course, is that Kelly is alive to defend himself (though he has yet to do so publicly), while Jackson passed away in 2009.

And so, members of Jackson's family have taken it upon themselves to preserve his legacy.

While that development is not unexpected, the methods the Jacksons are using to protect Michael's reputation are rather unexpected.

Vintage MJ

At first, the family refused to acknowledge the documentary at all, and it seemed as though the plan was to lay low for the foreseeable future.

This week, however, they abruptly changed tactics, scheduling numerous public appearances, seemingly as a means of distracting from this latest scandal.

"Katherine ordered all of her kids to damage control in hopes of saving her son's name before she dies," a source tells Radar Online.

Katherine Jackson Image

On Thursday, Latoya Jackson appeared in Mexico along with several of her brothers at a musical tribute to Michel.

"It is no coincidence that they are headlining this event or that LaToya appeared last night," says the insider.

"They are all experts on damage control because they have done it for years to protect one another"

Michael in Concert

Indeed, it seems that that statement gets to the root of the Jacksons' mentality with regard to Michael's problematic past.

The Jacksons see themselves not as guarding a shameful past, but as protecting one another.

In particular, they're fiercely protective of Michael's 20-year-old daughter, Paris Jackson.

Paris Jackson for Versace

Paris checked into rehab just weeks prior to the film's release, and insiders say the two events are not unrelated.

Sources say Paris is "breaking down" over the documentary and what it may mean for her father's legacy.

Though she left rehab last week, Paris has reportedly refused to watch or even talk about the documentary -- but her loved ones can sense her emotional distress regardless.

Paris Jackson With Brown Hair

For years, Paris has maintained that the charges against her father are nothing more than baseless attempts at character assassination.

Confronted by new evidence, however, the up-and-coming model may find it more difficult than ever to maintain that position.

And so, a woman at the end of her life and a woman at the beginning of her career, both find themselves defending the actions of a man who passed away nearly a decade ago.

The allegations in Leaving Neverland have yet to be fully investigated, but there's no denying the drama surrounding the film's release.

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Michael Jackson Biography

Michael Jackson mug shot
Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, with the best-selling album of all-time and more than a dozen massive hits. After years of physical... More »
Gary, Indiana
Full Name
Michael Joseph Jackson