Tyson -- who was friends with Jackson and even visited him at Neverland several times -- says he believes a lot of the blame falls on the parents of the kids.
"The parents have to be responsible for that sh*t. I just thought the fact that these kids, Michael is telling them, 'if anyone knows about this we're both gonna go to prison forever.' It was just ... really horrible."
"I have an 8-year-old kid. I wouldn't let Michael hang out with my kid. I wouldn't let my kid go over Michael's house. I love Michael. Ya know what I mean. Michael has a reputation of this."
Tyson says "whatever happened when [Robson and Safechuck] was kids is wrong" ... but did critique the men for participating in the documentary.
"What you're doing now is even wrong. Coming out saying this stuff. It comes across that these are guys just out to get some money."
The Jackson estate has blasted the HBO doc and MJ's accusers ... saying the allegations in "Leaving Neverland" are false.