An unflinching new documentary on paedophilia accusations againstMichael Jackson, which was aired by the US cable network HBO on Sunday,has shattered the glittering veneer around the late King of Pop, presenting in lurid detail the stories of two men who say he sexually abused them for years as minors.
Jackson's estate has vehemently defended the late star, suing HBO for US$100 million over a "posthumous character assassination" it says breaches an agreement made not to disparage the icon, a condition for airing one of his concerts.
The star faced accusations in 1993 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy and settled out of court, with Robson and Safechuck saying at the time that Jackson hadn't touched them.
In 2003 more accusations triggered a dramatic trial: that time, Safechuck kept a distance, but Robson testified for Jackson, who was acquitted.
Leaving Neverland comes in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's downfall, and as R&B superstar R. Kelly faces a fresh legal reckoning for his own questionable history with underage girls.
For pop culture scholar Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, the release in today's #MeToo context is key: Jackson's trial was relatively recent, but "in so many ways, consciousnesses have been raised."