Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross Take Heat For Defending Michael Jackson

Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross are taking heat for defending the late Michael Jackson against allegations of sexual abuse in the HBO docu-series Leaving Neverland.

“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand told The Times, in an interview published early Friday.

“You can say ‘molested’ but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there.”

In Leaving Neverland, Wade Robson and James Safechuck detailed years of sexual abuse by the King of Pop when they were young boys. Both admitted to being starstruck and, at some level, in love with Jackson.

Streisand suggested the alleged abuse didn’t have a lasting impact on their lives.

“They both married and they both have children,” she noted, “so it didn't kill them.”

Streisand said she feels badly for the children but said she also feels badly for Jackson. “I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.”

On Saturday, Streisand issued a statement apologizing for “any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully.”

She wrote: “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”

Only hours later, Diana Ross weighed in on Twitter.

“I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is a magnificent force to me and to many others,” she wrote. “STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE.”

Ross was a close family friend who starred with Jackson in the 1978 movie The Wiz and inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Jackson’s estate and members of his family have denied the allegations in Leaving Neverland.