Veteran singer-actress Barbra Streisand has clarified the remarks she made about the recent allegations of underage sexual abuse against late King of Pop Michael Jackson.
“To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is okay for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone,” Streisand said in a statement, reported variety.com.
“The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy,” she added.
Streisand also posted an apology to Instagram.
“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. I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way.
“I feel deep remorse and hope James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth,” the apology read.
View this post on Instagram
Streisand had commented on the controversy in an interview to the Times in the UK ahead of her July concert at London’s Hyde Park.
She had said she believes Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” that they were abused by Jackson as children.
“Oh absolutely,” she said in the interview. “That was too painful.”
Streisand said that on the occasions she met Jackson, he was “very sweet, very childlike”. But despite the material being painful to watch, she seemed to have some sympathy for the late pop star. “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” she had told the Times.
“You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard them say (the grown-up Robson and Safechuk), they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Her comment drew a backlash, and led her to apologise.