Robson’s Route to Changing His Story – Part 4

A failed prophecy

On June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson passed away.

Wade and his family mourned him and they went to his public memorial. Wade was not invited to the private memorial and in his 2016 deposition he said he was hurt by that [1; page 181].

After Jackson’s death Wade had nothing but praise for Jackson, just like during his lifetime. In an exclusive book The Official Michael Jackson Opus that was published in December 2009, Wade made an entry in which he wrote among others:

“The last time I saw him was in July 2008. I was in Vegas working on a show and he was living there. Me, my wife and him and his three kids had a barbecue. It was the most normal thing in the world. Me and my wife had been to Whole foods and bought stuff to cook. But when we got there he’d provided loads of catering. I said, “Dude, Why did you bring loads of catering? We’ve got regular food here”. I remember cooking outside while Michael sat there under an umbrella.

We had great times because he was such a caring person. Most of all I’ll miss those phone conversations. I still have my mobile phone with his number on it. I just can’t bear the thoughts of deleting his messages.

Michael Jackson changed the world and, more personally, my life forever. He is the reason I dance, the reason I make music, and one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of human kind. He was a close friend of mine for 20 years. His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever. I will miss him immeasurably, but I know that he is now at peace and enchanting the heavens with a melody and a moonwalk.

I love you Michael.

– Wade Robson” [2]

(Emphasis added.)

As we learn from exhibits shown at his 2016 deposition, on June 26, 2009 Wade wrote an e-mail to Jeff Thacker, Co-Executive Producer of So You Think You Can Dance saying “I wanted to write you now so if you guys are thinking of doing any dance tribute to MJ on the show, I would like it to be me who does it.” [1; page 175-176]

Wade also participated in a tribute by Janet Jackson to her brother at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on September 13, 2009.

In an e-mail dated October 8, 2009 Wade asks James Phares, Kenny Ortega’s personal assistant: “I was wondering if there was anyway (sic) for my Mom and Grandma to also come to the MJ premier?” [1; page 186] This meant the premier of This Is It, a documentary made of Jackson’s final rehearsals before he died. Wade was already to attend, but he wanted his family members to get an invitation too.

For several years after Jackson’s death, Wade continued to praise Jackson in various media interviews.

In November 2010 Wade and his wife Amanda had a son – their first (and so far only) child [3; paragraph 23]. A month later, in December, Wade was offered to direct the dance movie Step Up 4 (eventually it came out under the title Step Up Revolution) and he accepted the offer.

According to his court papers and a blog post he wrote on November 17, 2017, he considered this as the fulfillment of Michael Jackson’s “prophecy” to him as a child that he would become a movie director of “epic proportions”, bigger than Steven Spielberg [3; paragraph 9, 23] [4]. This “prophecy” is a weirdly emphatic element of his story. From Robson’s complaint:

“It was on this trip that Michael Jackson began to mentally manipulate [Robson] with information such as “Study the greats and become greater. Be the best or nothing at all. Rule the world. Be in the history books. Immortalize yourself,” and prophesied that [Robson] “will be a film director bigger than Steven Spielberg.” As far as [Robson] was concerned, his fate was written.” [5; paragraph 20]

Jackson was known to make such, sometimes maybe exaggerated comments to people as a way of inspiration and motivation (although some of these thoughts are suspect of being twisted by Robson here – eg. “be the best or nothing at all), but Robson’s perception that this was some sort of “prophecy” that he was entitled to fulfill is certainly weird. Robson took this so called “prophecy” so seriously that when he crumbled under the pressure of the job, and perhaps realized that not only he was not going to be the next Spielberg, but even directing a Step Up movie was too big of a challenge for him, that triggered a nervous breakdown in him, made him pull out of the project and left him purposeless (the movie was eventually directed by Scott Speer). Wade writes in his blog post from 2017:

“Additionally, I was now ravaged by a de-habilitating feeing (sic) of shame that I was a complete failure. I felt that my entire life had been building to this opportunity to become a Film Director. It had arrived, I was fulfilling Michael’s prophecy, and then I blew it, therefore my entire life, I believed, had been in vein. Thank God I had Amanda and our baby boy because beyond that, I felt no purpose anymore.” [4]

Although Wade does not mention it in either his court papers or his blog post, the Step Up project was not his first failed attempt at directing a movie. In an interview that he gave to Dance Informa in April 2009 he revealed that he and his wife were working on their first feature film at the time. It was not only his passion project to create this movie, but also his wife’s.

When asked why he declined to direct Britney Spears’ 2009 tour, Wade said because their priority was creating a movie:

“We have been writing [the film] all through [2008] as well, but Amanda was mostly working on it because I was doing the Cirque show.* So it was kind of really broken and hard to really focus on it” and “We were supposed to do this Britney tour but it was just another distraction and we really want to move into film and really make this the next path for us… I spend most of my time saying no to jobs, probably to my own demise…” The film was the couple’s primary project at the time: “We are treating it like it’s our job. It’s five days a week, as soon as we wake up until the sun comes down. That’s what we’re doing all day, every day. We’re just making a move to get this done”, said Wade. When asked if there was one thing he could do that he had not achieved yet, what would it be, Wade answers: “All about directing film”. [6]

(* The “Cirque show” mentioned here, is not to be mistaken with Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show. It is the Criss Angel Believe show in which Robson worked as the choreographer. The show was a critical and commercial failure and was eventually canceled in 2016.)

He also revealed in the same interview that they were writing a theater show as well. Neither the movie or the theater show ever materialized, despite of both Wade and Amanda putting a lot of time and effort into it, sacrificing other projects.

The couple did create two dance short films together. A 17-minute film known as I? in 2006 and a 5-minute film in 2007 entitled WITHIN. In both Wade is credited as the director, Amanda as the writer. The latter was partly shot at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch that is associated with positive emotions, inner peace, clarity, being alive in the film. In the credits the couple write: “Wade & Amanda Robson would like to thank… MJ, for allowing us to use his sacred land. Grace, for making it happen.” [7] These short films, however, did not garner much attention for the Robsons’ film making ambitions.

By the way, Amanda has long been Wade’s creative partner. She is not a dancer or choreographer, but Wade says in the interview that during their marriage she has gradually became more and more involved in Wade’s work. Wade calls her “the opinion that I trusted the most and the approval that I needed”. He also mentions how they never travel without each other, wherever Wade goes, Amanda always travels with him. [6]

Previous chapter: “They are making up all these lies about you and me, saying that we did all this disgusting sexual stuff”

Next chapter: Wade goes into therapy


[1] Deposition Transcript of Wade Jeremy William Robson (December 12, 2016)

[2] The Official Michael Jackson Opus (OPUS Media Group, December 7, 2009)

[3] Declaration of Wade Robson (April 30, 2013)

[4] Wade Robson’s blog “Wade’s Window” – Break to Heal, Part I (November 17, 2017)

[5] Wade Robson’s Fourth Amended Complaint – see as an attachment to Notice of Plaintiff Wade Robson’s Motion to Amend the Third Amended Complaint; Memorandum of Points and Authortities (filed on September 9, 2016)

[6] Dance Informa – Exclusive Interview with Wade Robson, Part 1 & 2 (published on August 25, 2009)

[7] WITHIN – 2007 short film by Wade Robson & Amanda Robson
(published on May 15, 2009)

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