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Barbra Streisand backpedals following outrage over her Michael Jackson abuse comments
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Fortune

Barbra Streisand backpedals following outrage over her Michael Jackson abuse comments

'To be crystal clear...'

Legendary entertainer Barbra Streisand was in full damage-control mode over the weekend after comments she made to a British newspaper about the child abuse allegations against Michael Jackson ignited outrage across the country.

What did Streisand say to spark outrage?

Speaking with the Times of London, Streisand claimed she "absolutely" believes abuse allegations brought by Wade Robson and James Safechuck — who allege in the documentary "Leaving Neverland" that Jackson repeatedly abused them as children — but equivocated blame.

"[Jackson's] sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has," Streisand said. "You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard say [grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them."

"I feel bad for the children," she went on to say. "I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?"

What is Streisand saying now?

In a statement she provided to the Washington Post, Streisand clarified that she, in fact, does not believe that it is OK for children to be abused.

"To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone," she said. "The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It's clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy."

She later posted an apology to Instagram, claiming that her words "as printed do not reflect my true feelings."

"I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings," Streisand said. "I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. I feel deep remorse and hope James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth."

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