Sheryl Crow has broken her silence on the HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, which features the tale of two men who allege Michael Jackson groomed and molested them as children over the course of years. Crow, who presumably knew both boys — and was part of the Bad touring ensemble with one of them — touched upon the documentary during a new chat with The Guardian.
Crow, who duetted with Jackson center stage every night on his chart-topping hit “I Just Can't Stop Loving You” during the 15-country tour, recalled, “I happened to turn on CNN the morning after the first half (of the documentary) aired, and they showed clips of the young man who was on the Jackson tour with us and it made me. . . I mean, I still feel really. . . It’s like a death in the family, y'know? It’s sad. (James Safechuck) was a great kid and the whole time he was with us — which was the better half of an 18-month tour — I always wondered: 'What in the world are his parents doing?,' y'know?”
When pressed about what she felt went on between Jackson and the boys, Crow was careful with her words saying, “Honestly, I think. . . I think that there were a lot of exceptions made because of the damage that (Jackson). . . I mean, he didn’t intentionally project it, but it was part of his aura — this almost being untouchable and almost alien-like (figure). And, yeah, I mean, I’m sad, and I’m mad at a lot of people. I feel like there was just a huge network of people that allowed all that to go on. It’s just tragic.”
Crow explained that Michael Jackson essentially had no relationship with her, or the rest of his touring revue other than the time onstage: “I think he actually did not know my name for quite a long while.”
When asked if Jackson ever reached out to her a decade later when she became a Grammy winning artist in her own right, she said: “Never. I saw him at the Grammy's and I don’t think he ever put together (who I was).”
Upon Michael Jackson death back in 2009 Sheryl Crow took time to look back on her days on the road with him: “I'm going to mourn his loss just like millions and millions of other fans out there and I'm grateful that for a brief moment in my life I got to stand on stage nightly and watch him sing 'Human Nature' and 'Billie Jean,' and do those moves and sing those incredible melodies that were original to him. So I'm sad and I'm grateful at the same time.”