Latest News

A Timeline Of Michael Jackson’s Sexual Abuse Allegations

Ahead of Channel Seven's investigation on 'Sunday Night'

Sunday Night on Seven is set to air a special investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against King of Pop Michael Jackson on February 24, bringing forward explosive new evidence. The investigation, conducted by Matt Doran, will detail disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse brought against Jackson. 

Below, a timeline of the various accusations against Jackson. 


In August 1993, when Jackson was still touring to support his album ‘Dangerous’, the LA Police Department began investigating claims that the singer had molested a 13-year-old boy, Jordan Chandler. Executing search warrants for a condominium in Los Angeles and Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, the police seized videotapes but found no incriminating evidence. The boy’s parents proceeded to sue Jackson saying he “repeatedly committed sexual battery” on their son.

Jackson’s legal team had children go the media to give interviews in support of Jackson. One, a 10-year-old boy named Wade Robson, told CNN about harmless “slumber parties” in Jackson’s bedroom. In December of 1993, Jackson was strip-searched by police at Neverland, and photographs were taken of his genitals to compare to a description given by the boy. Two days later, Jackson spoke on live television, denying the accusations. “I am not guilty of these allegations,” Jackson said at the time. “But if I am guilty of anything, it is of giving all that I have to give to help children all over the world.”

Jackson and his team settled the case for around $23 million in January 1994. 

Michael Jackson testifing in Santa Maria Superior Court, 13 November 2002
Michael Jackson testifing in Santa Maria Superior Court, 13 November 2002


In 2002 and 2003, BBC journalist Martin Bashir conducted a series of interviews with Jackson at Neverland Ranch. The interviews were compiled into the documentary Living with Michael Jackson, in which Bashir revealed new details about Jackson’s relationship to the young boys he invited to stay at the property. Gavin Arvizo was a young cancer survivor who had started coming to the Neverland Ranch three years prior. When asked about sharing a bed with Arvizo, Jackson called it a “beautiful thing.”

The details uncovered in this documentary would prompted a criminal investigation that eventually led to Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005. 

By November, Arvizo anonymously accused Jackson of molestation. Police raided Neverland Ranch and then arrested Jackson just days later. In December, Jackson was formally charged on nine counts: “seven of child molestation and two of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony.” 

neverland ranch


The People v. Michael Jackson was a long, heavily publicised affair, in large part due to Jackson’s bizarre actions throughout. On the day of his arraignment, Jackson climbed on top of a car and started dancing and waving to fans. Toward the end of the trial, Jackson was showing up to court in his pyjamas. On the witness stand, Arvizo stated that when he first arrived at Neverland Ranch, Jackson showed him and his brother “several pornographic websites depicting naked women and girls, some of them about 15 years old.” In addition to the claims involving pornography, the prosecution alleged that Jackson had masturbated in front of Arvizo and tried to ply him with wine. 

Arvizo’s brother told the court that he saw Jackson molesting his brother on two occasions, per a New York Times report of the testimony. 

The prosecution also brought in Jackson’s housekeeper, Blanca Francia, who testified that she saw Jackson taking a shower with Wade Robson. Robson testified in defence of Jackson, and according to Jackson’s attorney was “adamant that he had never been improperly touched or molested.” 

 June 13, 2005, Jackson was acquitted of all charges after his defence lawyers painted a thorough portrait of the Arvizo family as “con artists, actors and liars” looking to make money and ruin Jackson’s reputation. One juror told The New York Times that she believed Gavin Arvizo’s mother “had taught her children to lie to gain money or favours from celebrities.”

Michael Jackson arrives at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 in Santa Maria, California
Michael Jackson arrives at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 in Santa Maria, California


Jackson dies in Los Angeles. 


In May 2013, Australian choreographer Wade Robson alleged that he was molested by Jackson when he was 7-years-old. Robson first met Jackson when he was only 5, after winning a dance competition run by Jackson’s company MJJ Productions. In 2013, claiming that MJJ Productions and Jackson’s other company, MJJ Ventures, were child sex operations “specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims,” Robson filed a claim against Jackson’s estate and sued both MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. The claim was later thrown out, with the judge stating that too much time had passed between the alleged abuse and the filing of the claim. 


In 1987, 10-year-old James Safechuck was cast in a Pepsi commercial promoting Jackson’s solo world tour. Jackson became close to Safechuck in the following years and frequently invited him to Neverland Ranch. Jackson invited Safechuck and his mother out on tour with him, where the first incidents of the alleged abuse occurred. According to The LA Times, Safechuck cited “hundreds” of sexual encounters with Jackson, and also claimed that Jackson invented a complicated series of sexual code words in an attempt to promote secrecy, including “bright light, big city” which was code for “erection”. 

In May 2014, Safechuck filed a formal complaint alleging Jackson sexually abused him as a child. Safechuck also added his name to the suit originally filed by Robson against Jackson in 2013. His complaint was dismissed in 2017.

Wade Robson, arrives at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial May 5, 2005
Wade Robson, arrives at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court for Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial May 5, 2005


Dan Reed’s four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland premiered at Sundance on January 25, detailing disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse brought against Jackson. The film focused on the stories of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who was befriended by Jackson as kids and were among his most staunch defenders when child molestation accusations were raised in 1993 and 2003.  It wasn’t until several years after Jackson’s 2009 death that each came forward with their own claims of being abused by the pop star and sued the singer’s estate.

The Jackson estate denounced the documentary as “yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson” with “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”

Related stories