Michael Jackson’s former nanny has come forward to defend the late singer following the release of HBO’s documentary, Leaving Neverland.
The nearly four hour film details the sexual abuse allegations against Jackson and tells the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
Grace Rwaramba, the former nanny of 17 years to Jackson’s kids, issued a lengthy statement to ABC News.
“If Michael harmed Wade Robson and James Safechuck, they have my deepest sympathy and compassion,” Rwaramba said. “I don’t claim to know what happened between Michael and his accusers. I wasn’t there.”
“However, because Michael is no longer here to defend himself, and because I have a unique view of him and the life he lived, I feel compelled to speak out against what I firmly believe to be false claims. The person that Wade and James describe is not the person that I knew.”
“He was trusting to the point of extreme naivete; always assuming the best intentions in everyone,” Rwaramba explained. “While he was far from perfect, in my over twelve years of living with Michael, knowing him and his lifestyle intimately, I never saw or experienced anything that led me to suspect that he was capable of child sexual abuse.”
Despite the alleged abuse, Rwaramba claimed that Robson insisted on having his wedding at Neverland amid Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.
“Several months before Michael was acquitted on all charges on June 13, 2005, he came home from court and informed me that I should expect a call from Wade. When Wade called the ranch, security patched the call through to Paris’ room where Michael and I spent most of our time preparing for the next day,” she said.
“I put him on speaker phone,” Rwaramba continued. “He informed me that Michael had advised him to contact me about whether he and his fiancée Amanda could have their wedding at Neverland in the fall. I was utterly shocked by how insensitive the request was; Michael was sitting next to me.”
“‘You know Grace, Neverland is so special to my family and me, ‘Wade continued,’” Rwaramba claimed in her statement.
“‘Michael has been like a father to me, and it would mean the world to us if Amanda and I could get married at Neverland.’ I told Wade, this is not a good time, reminding him that Michael was in the middle of the fight for his life,” she said.
“Why would someone who alleges to have been assaulted for over seven years want to have one of the most sacred events in his life on the same property where the attacks allegedly took place?” Rwaramba wrote in the statement.
“What I can’t understand is why Wade could continue to voluntarily and consistently return, and bring friends and loved ones, to a place that is the site of the alleged attacks well into his adult life?” Rwaramba said.
Leaving Neverland is now available on HBO. Watch the trailer below.