Michael Jackson and James Safechuck, who talks about abuse in Leaving Neverland
Michael Jackson and James Safechuck, who talks about abuse in Leaving Neverland Supplied

What star saw on infamous Jackson tour

Sheryl Crow's early career included a stint as a backup singer on Michael Jackson's Bad tour from 1987-1989, and she's still reckoning with it.

In a new interview with the Guardian, Crow discussed the allegations of sexual abuse against Jackson in light of her time in the singer's orbit.

"I happened to turn on CNN the morning after the first half [of the documentary Leaving Neverland] aired, and they showed clips of the young man who was on the Jackson tour with us …"

Crow is referring to James Safechuck, one of two accusers featured in the documentary and a near-constant companion to Jackson during the Bad tour.

Sheryl Crow sings on stage with Michael Jackson during his Bad tour at Wembley Stadium in July 1988. Picture: Pete Still/Redferns
Sheryl Crow sings on stage with Michael Jackson during his Bad tour at Wembley Stadium in July 1988. Picture: Pete Still/Redferns

"It's like a death in the family, you know? It's sad," Crow continued. "(James Safechuck) was a great kid and the whole time he was with us - which was the better half of an 18-month tour - I always wondered: 'What in the world are his parents doing?'

"I think that there were a lot of exceptions made because of the damage that (Jackson) … I mean, he didn't intentionally project it, but it was part of his aura - this almost being untouchable and almost alien-like (figure). And, yeah, I mean, I'm sad, and I'm mad at a lot of people. I feel like there was just a huge network of people that allowed all that to go on. It's just tragic."

 

Jackson and a young James Safechuck.
Jackson and a young James Safechuck.

 

Safechuck in Leaving Neverland. Picture: HBO
Safechuck in Leaving Neverland. Picture: HBO

Though Crow duetted with Jackson every night of the tour on I Just Can't Stop Loving You, she describes Jackson as isolated and removed.

"I think he actually did not know my name for quite a long while," she stated.

He "never" contacted her after she established herself as a solo star in the '90s: "I saw him at the Grammys and I don't think he ever put together (who I was)."

 

Crow went from Jackson backing singer to star in her own right. Picture: Supplied.
Crow went from Jackson backing singer to star in her own right. Picture: Supplied.

JACKSON'S BEHAVIOUR 'DEEPLY SUSPICIOUS' DURING BAD TOUR

A journalist has revealed he was so concerned about Jackson's "deeply suspicious" relationship with Safechuck he reached out to the boy, asking if he was being held against his will.

In an article for the Irish Mail on Sunday earlier this year, reporter Sam Smyth recalled how he became concerned about Jackson's behaviour while covering one of the singer's concerts in 1988.

Accompanying Jackson was Safechuck, or "Little Jimmy" as he was known by Jackson.

Staying at the same hotel as Jackson and his entourage as he performed in Ireland, Smyth and another journalist noted it was "very odd" the 10-year-old boy was accompanying the singer.

 

Jackson accuser Wade Robson, Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed and Safechuck. Picture: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP
Jackson accuser Wade Robson, Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed and Safechuck. Picture: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP

Making things even more strange, staff reported Safechuck, who was staying next to Jackson, remained in his room the whole time the singer was out performing with a "do not disturb" sign hanging on the doorknob and sheeting on the windows to block the view in.

Growing concerned, Smyth and the other journalist decided to send a letter to Safechuck's room.

Using hotel stationary, the pair wrote: "Dear Little Jimmy Safechuck, we are in the residents' lounge … and if you are being held against your will or if you need rescuing contact us."

Smyth said they gave the note to a hotel porter with instructions to take it to Safechuck's room, however they never heard from the boy.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission


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