Wednesday 16 October 2019

Derry Girls star in Twitter war of words over comments she made on Michael Jackson documentary

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan (Niall Carson/PA)
Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan (Niall Carson/PA)

David O'Dornan

One of the stars of Derry Girls waded into a war on social media over Michael Jackson after a damning documentary broadcast claims of alleged abuse by the pop star.

Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare, became embroiled in a Twitter storm over comments she made attacking Jackson.

The two-part programme Leaving Neverland contained interviews with two men - Wade Robson and James Safechuck - who said the King of Pop molested them when they were young boys and it contained explicit details of brutal sexual abuse.

Galway-born actress Nicola, 32, made a series of comments on social media - later taken down - supporting the documentary, the account of Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck.

Nicola Coughlan in her Derry Girls role for Channel 4
Nicola Coughlan in her Derry Girls role for Channel 4

Her initial comment was liked almost 5,000 times and was retweeted by more than 600 people - but not all of her Twitter followers agreed with her.

One USA user called GG with the handle GG @rydetheboogie replied: "Your (sic) acting like Michael wasn't attacked for 30 years. Your (sic) acting like the gov agencies didn't investigate him for years. It's clear you are pusher of propaganda. It won't end well for you."

Derry Girls cast
Derry Girls cast

Nicola then called him out and said: "Don't write things like "It won't end well for you" on Twitter if you don't want your account reported."

But by early evening yesterday Nicola decided to delete the series of tweets she had made in relation to Jackson.

Other high-profile criticism of Jackson came from Louis Theroux, who made a celebrated documentary about Jimmy Savile before he was exposed as a child abuser. He accused people of doubting the claims against Jackson of being "wilfully blind".

But Michael's daughter Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson (20) defended her father.

She posted: "If everyone reacted this way towards articles, they'd stop making lies and start writing actual news."

Local media commentator and recent law graduate Anthony Miller said in his opinion Michael Jackson is not guilty in the eyes of the law.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "Just to clarify I'm not saying he's innocent and that's that.

"I am saying the testimony given remains untested and so therefore cannot be held to a standard that equals guilty.

"Furthermore, having looked at the articles that claim to prove his guilt are counteracted by articles that prove his innocence.

"Therefore I cannot take media reports into account.

"So, I am left with the FBI reports that detail two investigations by both the FBI and the police that acquitted him."

He added: "Based on that information I have no other option than to say he is not guilty to the legal standard which is a high bar.

"I shall however, remain open to any tested evidence that proves the contrary."

Meanwhile, an episode of The Simpsons featuring the voice of Michael Jackson is being pulled following the controversial documentary about the star.

The Wall Street Journal says that producers of The Simpsons have decided to remove the episode, Stark Raving Dad, from streaming services and TV channels which air the show.

Jackson voiced a character in the episode, which aired in 1991.

Belfast Telegraph

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