Supremes singer Diana Ross has defended her friend Michael Jackson in a tweet that has been slammed by many as insensitive to his alleged victims.
The 74-year-old Motown singer tweeted at the weekend that she did not “believe” the allegations of child sexual abuse made by James Safechuck and Wade Robson in the documentary Leaving Neverland.
James and Wade have separately alleged that as young boys they were subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of the pop icon that lasted years. Their testimonies have been described as “compelling”. Many within the entertainment community have either stayed silent on the issue, or come out in support of his alleged victims.
But Ross decided to come out in support of Michael, tweeting: “This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.
STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE.”
This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.
STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) March 23, 2019
While she doesn’t mention the alleged child abuse, many have taken her reference to The Supremes’ hit song Stop! In The Name of Love as her pleading for people to ‘stop’ besmirching Michael Jackson’s name.
On Twitter, the tweet was liked and retweeted thousands of times, but it was also condemned by hundreds of users, who implored Ross to consider that Jackson could have been a brilliant musician, but also a paedophile.
No Diana, just no. Just because you knew and liked someone doesn’t mean they’re innocent. You saw him with those boys and never thought it was strange for an adult to not have friends his age? One of the boys was 7 when the grooming and abuse started! What’s wrong with you?
— Vote Dem for the Planet (@Brasilmagic) March 23, 2019