“I want the kids who’ve accused him, to be blunt, of molestation, to have their say,” Simmons told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview from Los Angeles on Thursday.
“I want to hear what they have to say. Not celebrities. Let’s celebrate the talent and everything later, let’s just figure out if there are any victims here.”
The recently deceased Jackson was tried for child molestation in 2005 but was ultimately acquitted of all charges by a jury. He faced a similar accusation in 1993 but that case was settled out of court.
Simmons said he initially declined to provide his opinion on Jackson, but that enough time had elapsed since the singer’s death for him to break his silence.
Simmons said he knew Jackson roughly 26 years ago. At the time, Simmons was living with Diana Ross and found Jackson to be “charming and shy and self-effacing, you know, very pleasant, obviously talented”.
Jackson paid millions of dollars to settle out of court with a 13-year-old who accused him of molestation in 1993, Simmons noted.
“I want to know what that boy has to say,” Simmons said.
“So while it’s sad that [Jackson] had this sad life and I understand, that’s horrible – Michael’s not the only victim. I want to know what these boys have to say.”