Macaulay Culkin is speaking out about his friendship with Michael Jackson, stating in a new interview that the late king of pop never molested or abused him.
The 39-year-old former child star broached the topic for an interview with Esquire published Tuesday.
“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,” he said. “And especially at this flash point in time, I’d have no reason to hold anything back. 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; he never did anything.”
Culkin and Jackson famously became friends following Culkin’s rise to fame from starring in the “Home Alone” films. The child actor even appeared in the music video for Jackson’s “Black and White” in 1991. Today, Culkin is the godfather of Jackson’s daughter Paris and the two have a close relationship, even getting matching tattoos in 2017.
Jackson repeatedly denied child molestation allegations during his life and was never convicted, and he died in 2009 at the age of 50. He posthumously made headlines, however, with the release of the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” a two-part series that chronicles the claims of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim that Jackson routinely sexually abused them as children.
The series has been met with both criticism and accolades, and Culkin –– who testified on Jackson's behalf during his 2005 child molestation trial –– is one of numerous former child stars who have repeatedly been questioned regarding their friendships with Jackson.
Culkin told Esquire for this week’s interview that actor James Franco brought up the documentary during a random run-in on an airplane.
“Here’s a good Michael Jackson story that doesn’t involve Michael Jackson at all: I ran into James Franco on a plane,” he said. “I’d bumped into him two or three times over the years. I give him a little nod as we’re putting our bags overhead. Hey, how you doing? Good, how ya doing? And it was right after the ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary came out, and he goes, ‘So, that documentary!’ And that was all he said.”
He continued, “I was like, ‘Uh-huh.’ Silence. 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.’”
Culkin said on the stand in 2005 that he slept in the same bed as Jackson around 12 times when he was between the ages of 9 and 14, CNN previously reported. He said then that Jackson had an “open door" policy, and that he’d never experienced or seen “anything improper” take place.
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