Speaking to the Times UK ahead of her London concerts this summer, Streisand said she “absolutely” believed the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, but added, “You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Streisand also said that when she met Jackson, the King of Pop “was very sweet, very childlike,” and that she had turned down a duet on Bad‘s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.”
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand said of Jackson. “I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him.”
Like many others, Streisand blamed the parents of Safechuck and Robson for enabling their sons’ abuse. “I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him,” Streisand said. “Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shows and the dancing and the hats?”
Streisand’s remarks were swiftly met with criticism on social media, with even Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed perplexed by the singer’s comments. “‘It didn’t kill them’ @barbrastreisand did you really say that?!,” Reed tweeted. “‘His sexual needs were his sexual needs’ – is pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?”
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 23, 2019
Streisand has not yet responded to the controversy on social media.