Corey Feldman, once Michael Jackson's friend and ardent defender, has apparently switched sides.
The actor is speaking out with surprising new claims about his relationship with the embattled pop singer, which started when Feldman was a child star. In a segment airing Friday on ABC's "20/20," Feldman, who has been subpoenaed in the Jackson case, says Jackson showed him pornography when he was a young teenager.
In the interview with "20/20" correspondent Martin Bashir — whose documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" helped spark the investigation against the pop star (see "Jacko's Bizarre Behavior Examined In Two New Documentaries") — Bashir asks, "Were you ever shown any images that were inappropriate?" Feldman responds, "If you consider it inappropriate for a man to look at a book of naked pictures with a child that's 13 or 14 years old, then your answer would be yes."
One example, Feldman said, was that Jackson had a book on his coffee table about "venereal diseases and the genitalia," which the singer would show him pictures in and "discuss what those meant."
"I was kind of grossed out by it," Feldman said. "I didn't think of it as a big deal. And for all these years, I probably never thought twice about it. But in light of recent evidence, I have to say that if my son was 14 years old, 13 years old, and went to a man's apartment, and I knew that they were sitting down together talking about this, I would probably beat his ass."
This pornography claim is inconsistent with previous statements Feldman's made to the press, such as when he told CNN's Larry King in November 2003 that he'd never seen Jackson "act in any inappropriate way to a child. Never with me" (see "Macaulay Culkin, Corey Feldman To Testify In Jackson Case?"). The "Goonies" and "Lost Boys" star said he's coming forward now because he started "looking at each piece of information ... and with that came this sickening realization that there have been many occurrences in my life and in my relationship to Michael that have created a question of doubt."
Feldman stops short of accusing Jackson of molesting him, saying that he was never touched: "He never harmed me. And he never harmed any children in front of me."
The actor, however, previously told investigators in December 1993, when Jackson was first investigated on charges of child molestation, that someone — though not Jackson — had molested him. According to tapes obtained by the TV show "Celebrity Justice," Feldman is heard saying in those police interviews, "I myself was molested, so I know what it's like to go through those feelings, and believe me, the person who molested me, if this was him that did that to me, this would be a different story because I would be out there, up front, doing something immediately to have this man given what was due to him."
Jackson, however, "never did anything out of line," Feldman told police detectives. "I mean, the closest he ever came to touching me was maybe slapping me on the leg once to talk about that I had lost weight."
Feldman told "20/20" that he's defended Jackson "up and down" with both the public and the police. "I did what I believed was right as a friend," he said. " 'No, he's not gay. No, he's not a weirdo.' You don't understand the toll that it takes, having to be friends with somebody like Michael Jackson, because you spend your whole life defending [him]."
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."