Barbra Streisand believes the sexual-abuse allegations made against fellow superstar singer Michael Jackson, but she says she feels sorry for Jackson, too.
Her comments have drawn online backlash.
In a wide-ranging interview published Friday by The Times of London, Streisand says she believes the accusations made by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, in the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland.”
“Oh, absolutely. That was too painful,” says Streisand, who told the paper she met Jackson a couple of times and turned down his request for a duet of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” “He was very sweet, very childlike.”
Asked about the abusive behavior alleged in the documentary, Streisand says: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
She also assesses how the long-term effects felt by Robson and Safechuck. “You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Streisand says she has a combination of feelings about the situation. “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.”
The superstar has since faced online backlash for her comments.
“Barbara Streisand’s comments on Michael Jackson’s accusers are … outrageous and perplexing to say the very least,” Alexander W. McCall tweeted.
Anthony King also tweeted criticism: “Shame on you @BarbraStreisand for disrespecting the victims of child rape. Low class, dismissive and a shocking trivialisation. To speak up for a child abuser… I expect it from the deranged MJ fans but not from you, who should know better.”
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