Paul McCartney, who collaborated with Michael Jackson in the 1980s, has said he had no idea about the singer's private life in the wake of the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me.

McCartney with Jackson in the 1980s

In the documentary, two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, allege that they were sexually abused by Jackson. The Jackson family has denied the allegations.

"I think it’s sad," the Beatle star told Radio Futuro in Chile, where he has been on tour.

"Obviously Michael was a great singer, a great artist and a great dancer. For years we’ve loved that. Nobody knew about the other side that’s shown in that movie.

"When I knew him he was a really nice guy. I didn’t know about the dark side.

"It makes it very difficult to look back on the memories which were good memories, to think, oh boy, there was other stuff going on.

"For me, I’m OK to just stay with the personal memories I had of him. The other side is the other side. I don’t know about that."

McCartney said he could understand why people are disappointed and angry about the abuse allegations.

Macca with Michael Jackson and members of Musical Youth at a 1983 awards ceremony

The Beatle legend also sympathised with those having difficulty coming to terms with listening to Jackson’s music following the recent claims.

The Girl Is Mine, the beguilingly easy-on-the-ear McCartney/Jackson duet was the first single from Jackson’s Thriller album while the American star did a version of McCartney’s song Girlfriend on his 1979 album Off the Wall. In 1983 the musicians teamed up to record the song Say Say Say.

Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and Michael Jackson