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Barbra Streisand apologizes after saying Michael Jackson's accusers were "thrilled to be there"

Michael Jackson's accusers detail alleged abuse by the late pop icon
Michael Jackson's accusers detail alleged abuse by the late pop icon 29:16

Barbra Streisand is apologizing for comments she made about Michael Jackson's accusers. In an interview with The Times of London, Streisand shared her thoughts on "Leaving Neverland," a documentary that tells the stories of two men who allege Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

In the interview published on Friday, Streisand said she believes Jackson's accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. "Oh absolutely," she said. "That was too painful."

She also said, of Jackson, "His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has."

"You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard them say, they were thrilled to be there," she said. "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them."

"It's a combination of feelings," Streisand said. "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 Jackson family has vehemently denied claims of sexual abuse, and said they don't plan to watch the documentary. 

"Well, I don't care no 'cause I know my brother. I don't have to see the documentary. I know Michael. I'm the oldest brother. I know my brother. I know what he stood for, what he was all about, bringing the world together, making kids happy," Jackie Jackson, told "CBS This Morning" last month. 

Celebrities and fans online immediately expressed their confusion and disappointment with Streisand's comments. "Is pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?" "Leaving Neverland" director Dan Reed tweeted early Saturday. Others are relinquishing their long-standing support of the singer, calling her comments "sickening." 

Streisand clarified her remarks in a statement to CBS News on Saturday. "To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone. The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them," Streisand said.

"The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children," she continued. "It's clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy."

In a second statement, Streisand apologized for her choice of words and said she "didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced."

"I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings," Streisand said. "I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth."

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