As we learned with the Jerry Sandusky scandal, some of America’s biggest stars also have some of the biggest secrets. Another example is the late Michael Jackson, who was never criminally convicted of child sexual abuse, but who continues to face new allegations five years after his death.
The most recent allegations were made by a 36-year-old man named James, who is suing Jackson’s estate. James first met Jackson in the late 1980s when he was just 10 years old. The two appeared in a Pepsi commercial together, and James then accompanied Jackson on the tour to promote his “Bad” album.
James’ descriptions of Jackson’s alleged behaviors are typical of these types of cases. Starting at age 10, James was allegedly abused by Jackson on hundreds of occasions. He says that Jackson taught him “code words” in order for them to talk about the acts without others becoming suspicious. Jackson also allegedly gave him jewelry as “rewards” for the boy’s sexual favors.
When James started puberty, according to the lawsuit, the pop singer began “grooming him for separation” over a several-month period. This behavior is consistent with pedophilia, which is defined as a sexual attraction to prepubescent children.
Representatives for Jackson’s estate have denounced the allegations and the credibility of the accuser. But even the fact that James’ allegations did not surface until recently is consistent with the pattern that many child sex abuse victims follow. It can take years or decades for victims to face and process what happened to them, which means they may be well into adulthood by the time they are ready to seek legal action.
Jackson’s untimely death complicates current and future sex abuse claims against him but does not prevent them entirely. Dedicated attorneys will work with victims to uncover the truth and seek restitution appropriately.
Source: People, “New Child Sex Abuse Claims Filed Against Michael Jackson,” Melody Chiu, Aug. 7, 2014