Macaulay Culkin Defends Michael Jackson In New Interview - 'He Never Did Anything To Me'
Macaulay Culkin has broken his silence on the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson after the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland featured two men accusing the late pop icon of sexually abusing them when they were kids. Culkin - who had a close friendship with Jackson after starring in the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone - defended the singer, and said he never experienced or witnessed any abuse from Jackson.
Culkin - who is known as "Mack" to his friends - gave a rare interview and participated in a photo shoot for the cover of the new issue of Esquire , and he said that right now is a good time to speak up about the matter.
"Look. I'm gonna begin with the line -- it's not a line, it's the truth: He never did anything to me. I never saw him do anything. And especially at this flashpoint in time, I’d have no reason to hold anything back,” explained the 39-year-old “The guy has passed on. If anything — I’m not gonna say it would be stylish or anything like that, but right now is a good time to speak up. And if I had something to speak up about, I would totally do it. But no, I never saw anything.”
Culkin added that the interest in what he has to say about Jackson - who died in 2009 from an overdose of propofol - has led to celebrities asking him about his relationship with the singer, and if he ever witnessed anything at Neverland ranch.
Culkin explained that he ran into James Franco on a plane not long after Leaving Neverland came out, and Franco asked him about “that documentary.”
“I was like, ‘Uh-huh.’ Silence,” said Culkin. “So then he goes, ‘So what do you think?’ And I turned to him and I go, ‘Do you wanna talk about your dead friend?’ And he sheepishly went, ‘No, I don’t.’ So I said, ‘Cool, man, it was nice to see you.’”
The Bunny Ears podcast host said that the last time he saw Michael Jackson was in 2005 in the restroom of the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse during Jackson’s molestation trial. Culkin testified as part of Jackson’s defense and he was later acquitted.
Culkin revealed that when Jackson came into the restroom he told him that they shouldn’t talk because he didn’t want to influence Culkin’s testimony. After that, they both laughed and shared a hug.
Macaulay Culkin also revealed that he auditioned for Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood , but “it was a disaster.” He said that he is terrible at auditioning, and reading for Quentin Tarantino’s movie was his first audition in eight years. Culkin said he completely bombed it, and he wouldn’t have hired himself, either.
Culkin also talked about the public perception of him since he dropped out of the spotlight after being one of the most famous child stars on the planet.
"People assume that I'm crazy, or a kook, or damaged. Weird. Cracked. And up until the last year or two, I haven't really put myself out there at all. So I can understand that," Culkin said. "It's also like, Okay, everybody, stop acting so freaking shocked that I'm relatively well-adjusted."
Macaulay Culkin says that he knows he comes across as “a curmudgeonly old man,” but interviews, photo shoots, and press junkets were never his thing.
"This is not really my cup of tea. These are all lovely people, but the poking, the prodding—honestly, it's part of why I don't do this anymore. Any of it," explained Culkin. "Doing junkets and things—that stuff always drove me crazy."
However, Culkin said the “stars aligned” and he thought doing an interview and photo shoot with Esquire in 2020 would be “super fun.” He added that he’s not even promoting himself or any project, he’s just enjoying “another little adventure.”