Diana Ross, a longtime pal of Michael Jackson’s, decided Saturday was the day to come to his defense amid new sexual abuse claims against the late pop star.
“This is what’s on my heart this morning,” Ross tweeted. “I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A [sic] magnificent incredible force to me and to many others. STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE.”
A devastating HBO documentary released earlier this month, “Leaving Neverland,” put forth detailed claims from two men who say Jackson molested them over a span of years when they were children and he was much older. The documentary is just the latest in a long history of rumors and lawsuits alleging similar abuse.
Jackson, who died in 2009, was said to idolize Ross from his days as a child performer with the Jackson 5 when she was already an established star. The two later became good friends, appearing and performing together over the years.
Jackson even went so far as to name Ross in his will as a secondary caretaker for his three children in the event that his first choice, his mother, died.
Ross’ comments come just one day Barbra Streisand’s tone-deaf remarks about “Leaving Neverland” were published in the London Times. In the interview, Streisand said the children were “thrilled” to be at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, where they say he repeatedly abused them.
“They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them,” Streisand added of the men who appeared in the HBO documentary. She later walked back her comments.
While “Leaving Neverland” has attracted criticism from Jackson’s family ― and from select music industry idols, it seems ― it has also prompted many fans to question how to approach the King of Pop’s collected works in light of the searing accusations against their creator.