explainer

Michael Jackson isn't the only alleged predator who hid in plain sight. There are many.

The weight of child sexual abuse stories is all too fresh.

We’ve just watched a senior member of the Catholic church George Pell jailed for his crimes, and been left shocked by fresh allegations made against Michael Jackson.

The world watched on in horror as two men described on Finding Neverland what one of the most revered singers in the world allegedly did to them when they were children.

We couldn’t help but feel sickened by the fact that we watched Jackson with children, little boys, and thought it was strange. But brushed it off.

If Michael Jackson did what he’s been accused of, then it all happened in plain sight.

And he would hardly be the only celebrity to do so.

The trailer for the documentary Finding Neverland. Post continues after video.

Video by HBO

Jimmy Savile

Sir Jimmy Savile was a DJ, TV presenter and charity fundraiser, and was one of the most famous names in the UK during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

A year after his 2011 death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, broken by an ITV documentary, and he was eventually labelled by British police as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

The allegations were around during his lifetime, people knew, but they were dismissed and ignored. Savile even took legal action against some accusers. At least seven people made complaints to police while he was alive.

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile. Image: Getty.
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Investigators now believe Savile sexually abused hundreds of children and women at the height of his fame, with some victims as young as two-years-old.

An inquiry into sexual abuse at the BBC found that there was a culture of 'reverence' for celebrities, which helped Savile rape and molest victims unhindered for decades. The report also said there were members of the BBC who were aware of the abuse, but didn't report it because of "an atmosphere of fear."

The BBC's director general apologised to victims saying; "A serial rapist and predator sexual abuser both hid in plain sight at the BBC for decades. The BBC failed you when we should have protected you."

He is accused of abusing both male and female victims in studios, dressing rooms, lifts and canteens.

Filmmaker Louis Theroux told Mamamia, Britain as a society has struggled with the fact that he never faced court, or faced any consequences for what he did. Savile died with his knighthood in tact.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen has been brushing aside allegations of child molestation since 2013. His adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow shared publicly that she was assaulted by her father in an attic when she was seven. She has been telling this story for years, but the powerful director vehemently denies it.

Farrow has described how her father instructed her to lie on her stomach and "play with my brother's toy train that was set up. He sat behind me in the doorway and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted."

"Wonder Wheel" New York Screening
Woody Allen in 2017. Image: Getty.

Her story has been denied, downplayed and ridiculed with some saying her mother coached her into saying it.

"How is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I'm saying about being sexually assaulted by my father?" Dylan told CBS. 

Allen is an Oscar winning director who has churned out at least one movie a year, for decades. He is highly respected for his work in the film industry.

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His daughter's allegations were brought up in court during a custody battle, and in denying him visitation rights, the judge told him his behaviour towards Dylan was "grossly inappropriate and that measures should be taken to protect her."

Police investigated Dylan's allegations, but it was closed after 14-months because of "no credible evidence."

Roman Polanski

In 1977, film director Roman Polanski was charged with five offences against a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

They included, rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.

"La Nuit Ne Dure Pas" : Concert Of Dani & Emma
Roman Polanski. Image: Getty.

When Polanski learnt he'd be likely facing imprisonment and deportation for the crimes, he fled to France hours before he was to be formally sentenced. He has ever since, lived overseas and avoided visiting countries from which he would face extradition.

From Europe, Polanski went on to make a string of successful films including The Pianist, The Ghost Writer and Oliver Twist, and received many awards for his work.

In 2018, years after the success Polanski had enjoyed, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to expel him from its membership over the child sexual abuse charges.

R Kelly

The stories about R Kelly go back to the 1990s. Many of them centre around the predatory pursuit of teenage girls.

In 1994, he married a 15-year-old girl in a secret ceremony in Chicago.

In 1996, he was sued by another woman, Tiffany Hawkins, who claimed the singer started having sex with her in 1991 when she was just 15.

He was sued by a 17-year-old intern in 2001, who claimed she was "treated like a personal sex object and cast aside."

R Kelly. Image: AAP.
R Kelly. Image: AAP.
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Another woman sued him in 2002, claiming he impregnated her when she was underage, and forced her to have an abortion. He's also accused of filming another woman without her knowledge while having sex with her.

He was charged over 21 counts of child pornography in 2002 involving intercourse, oral sex and urination. It took six years for the case to come to trial during which time Kelly released his successful album; Trapped In The Closet.

A jury eventually concluded they couldn't prove the girl on the tape was a minor and he was found not guilty.

Just last year, Kitti Jones went public with claims the star had starved her, coerced her into sexual encounters and physically abused her. Kitti, along with other girls and women, told BBC Three Kelly used to "scout out women that looked young at parties."

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