"Can you prove it?"
Twenty-eight years ago in 1991, Michael Jackson escorted Madonna to the Oscars. The pop stars were two of the most beloved international superstars then, and their legacies have etched them into music history as top-earning, top-selling, and chart-topping artists. Neither name is above scandal, but Jackson's sexual abuse trials and allegations have left his reputation in tatters. The recent Leaving Neverland documentary on HBO highlighted Wade Robson and James Safechuck's alleged abuse by the music icon, resulting in Jackson's music being pulled from radio stations and his guest appearances on television shows being removed from rotation.
It's been almost 10 years since the King of Pop's untimely and shocking death shook the music world and in this passing decade many of the late singer's famous friends have taken up the torch to defend his character. In a recent interview with British Vogue, Madonna, who is affectionately referred to as the Queen of Pop, told the publication that she hasn't watched the Leaving Neverland documentary.
"I don't have a lynch-mob mentality, so in my mind, people are innocent until proven guilty," she reportedly said. "I've had a thousand accusations hurled at me that are not true. So my attitude when people tell me things about people is, 'Can you prove it?'" When asked what she would consider proof, Madonna answered, "I don't know, I haven't seen the film. But I guess it would be people recounting actual events - but then, of course, people sometimes lie."
"So I always say, 'What's the agenda? What do people want out of this? Are there people asking for money, is there some kind of extortion thing happening?' I would take all of those things into consideration." Other artists like will.i.am, Diana Ross, and Barbra Streisand have also come forward on behalf of their late friend.