‘I held him and held him and we sobbed together,’ she recalls in the documentary. I said I have to take some of the blame for this. I am your mother and I didn’t protect you.
‘And that’s what he wanted to hear, apparently.’
Wade’s brother Shane remained in Australia with his father – who later committed suicide. He has expressed his fury at Joy over what happened.
‘I was angry at mum,’ he told the documentary. ‘I was angry at mum before that, for breaking up the family to start with for this whole Michael Jackson nonsense.
‘I don’t care who some guy is, how do you leave your seven-year-old kid to have sleepovers at their house, that’s just f***ing crazy. As a parent I just don’t understand how that’s possible.’
Joy admits that Wade’s wife Amanda was so angry with her about the abuse, that she was banned from their house for five months.
‘Amanda wouldn’t allow me into their home,’ she told Leaving Neverland. ‘Wade and I would meet so that I could see his son. We had to meet in a park.
'I was so hurt. I thought she blamed me.’
But worse was to come. Working through his emotions with the help of a therapist, Wade confronted Joy with his distress over her perceived role in what happened.
‘He told me he felt no emotion for me,’ said Joy, clearly devastated. ‘As a mother that’s the last thing you want to hear from your child.’
Wade now says that things are improving with his mother, and sees their relationship as a work in progress. But it seems that some things will never be the same.
‘The anger for my mother from my family in Australia goes so deep', says Wade’s sister Chantal. 'I was afraid that my mum would do something to herself because of the shame of not knowing.’
But it’s Wade who carries the greatest burden, as he comes to terms with the pain that has ensued.
‘My whole life with Michael was the reason my family split up, and we moved to America,’ he says. 'It’s all wrapped up in that. And now the whole foundation of that story was bullshit.’
The estate of Michael Jackson maintains the late star's innocence.
If you or someone you know is struggling, call Life Line on 13 11 14 or visit Beyond Blue.