Macaulay Culkin

about his friendship with Michael Jackson

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PR-05 - From Wikipedia and other Internet sources

We had a really close relationship. We had this understanding of one another

Michael Jackson (1958-2009) , the eccentric and controversial king of pop, was repeatedly accused of child abuse. One of the young friends who have always defended Jackson's innocence is former child actor Macaulay Culkin, born in 1980. He is still famous for his role in the Home Alone movies.

I quote from Wikipedia: 

"Around the time of the first Home Alone movie, Culkin became close friends with pop legend Michael Jackson, making an appearance in the Black or White music video. 

Jackson would buy Culkin gifts, Culkin and Jackson would go on various vacations together (such as to Bermuda and Disney World) and Culkin would often stay over at Neverland Ranch for days at a time with Jackson. His brothers, Shane and Kieran, would occasionally join them. He was later selected by Jackson to be the godfather of his children: Michael Joseph 'Prince' Jackson Jr. and, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. 

During the trial against Michael Jackson, Culkin reported he had slept in Jackson's bed on countless occasions, but that Michael Jackson never sexually molested him or touched him in an improper way and referred to the allegations as "absolutely ridiculous" He attended Jackson's funeral on September 3, 2009." 

When Culkin was 23 years old, he was interviewed for CNN´s talkshow Larry King Live. The program was aired May 27th 2004. 

Here are a few relevant quotes from a slightly corrected online transcript of the show

Larry King: What's the relationship you had with Michael Jackson?

Macaulay Culkin: Had or have? 

KING: Both. 

CULKIN: Whatever. 

KING: Let's go with had to have. 

CULKIN: He's a good friend of mine and still is. Everything that's going on is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, and you know...

KING: When did you first get to meet him? 

CULKIN: I first met him -- kind of called me randomly out like of the blue, hi, it's Michael. It's like hey. And the thing is...

KING: This after "Home Alone." 

CULKIN: This is after "Home Alone." I had actually met him before I was doing "Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center. I was playing Fritz, and he came back stage one day. And I actually met him very briefly and he kind of recognized me because it was after I had done "Uncle Buck." And so, he kind of mentions something. Than he calls me up kind of out of the blue and it's just this weird, random kind of thing. Why don't you come over to my house?

The thing is, I didn't react to him the way most people did. Most people are like "Michael Jackson!", and you know, he was a god to people. And to me, I knew he was a pop singer but beyond that, I wasn't one of the fans. I think that's one of the reasons why we connected, was the fact that -- believe me, I call him a jerk all the time. I call him a fat head and this and that and he gets it. 

KING: And brother (UNINTELLIGIBLE) too..

CULKIN: Yes. We all did. He was a family friend. 

KING: What happened at the house? That's what all the things that people are concerned about. 

CULKIN: That's what's so weird. 

KING: What did happen? 

CULKIN: Nothing happened. You know, nothing really. I mean, we played video games. We, you know, played at his amusement park.

KING: Did he sleep in the bed? 

CULKIN: The thing is with that whole thing is that, oh, you slept in the same bedroom as him. It's like, I don't think you understand, Michael Jackson's bedroom is two stories and it has like three bathrooms and this and that. 
So, when I slept in his bedroom, yes, but you have to understand the whole scenario. And the thing is with Michael he's not good as explaining himself and he never really has been, because he's not a very social person. You're talking about someone who has been sheltered and sheltering himself also for the last like 30 years. And so, he's not very good at communicating to people and not good at conveying what he's actually trying to say to you. And so, when he says something like that to people -- he doesn't quite understand why people react the way that they do. 

KING: Why do you think he likes young people so much? 

CULKIN: Because the same reason why he liked me, was the fact that I didn't care who he was. That was the thing. I talked to him like he was a normal human being and kids do that to him because he's Michael Jackson the pop singer, but he's not the God, the "king of pop" or anything like that. He's just a guy who is actually very kid-like himself and wants to go out there and wants to play video games with you and things like that. 

KING: Did your parents encourage it? 

CULKIN: They weren't against it. It wasn't like they encouraged it or pushing me upon it. I wanted to hang out with him and they were fine. 

KING: What do you make of what he's going through now? 

CULKIN: Like I said, it's unfortunate, and you know, it's a circus right now. 

KING: Do you think it's a bad rap? 

CULKIN: You know, I think so. Yes. Listen, look what happened the first time this happened to him. If someone had done something like that to my kid, I wouldn't settle for some money. I'd make sure the guy was in jail. 
It just really goes to show as soon as they got the money and they ran. I mean, that's what really what happened the first time. And so I don't know. It's a little crazy and I kind of have taken a step back from the whole thing, because it is a bit of a circus. And you know, if the same thing was happening to me, I wouldn't want to drag him into it and vice versa. 
So I try my best to take a distance from it, but like I said he is still a friend of mine. 

KING: If they asked you to be a character witness, would you appear? 

CULKIN: I guess so, but probably not. Like I said, it's crazy, and I don't really want to be a part of it. 

KING: You like him. 

CULKIN: I like him and he's a friend of mine. I'm not saying I wouldn't do something like it. It hasn't been brought up to me and I don't think he'd want me to either. Just because, like I said, if the same thing was happening to me...

KING: What reaction has happened to you from all of this? 

CULKIN: What do you mean? 

KING: Do people inquire of you a lot about it? 

CULKIN: Sometimes. You know, people always have their opinions. It's funny. People always talk to me about him, because you know, I'm one of these people who will tell you anything about my life, really, to get me going. You know, so yeah, I mean, I've openly and freely talked about him and stuff like that. But overall, you know, he's just a good friend of mine. 

KING: You wish him well.

CULKIN: Of course I do.  

Not long after his first interview about Jackson, Culkin took the stand during Jackson's criminal trial to defend his childhood pal. 
During the trial, Culkin reported that Michael Jackson "never" sexually molested him or touched him in an improper way when he was still a child star.
Referring to the allegations at the time as "absolutely ridiculous," Culkin summarized staying at Neverland Ranch as "good old fun."

From the CNN~website 

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Culkin acknowledged sleeping in Jackson's bed a dozen or more times between the ages of 9 and 14, but insisted nothing of a sexual nature happened between the two. 

"I've fallen asleep in the same bed with him," Culkin said. "I'd just flop down." 

He testified his parents trusted Jackson, were aware that he and Jackson sometimes shared a bed and that Culkin's father would even come into the pop star's bedroom to wake up his son. 

"They never really saw it as an issue," Culkin said. "I knew they knew I was in the room."

Culkin's testimony was part of a bid by the defense to dispute earlier prosecution testimony that Jackson had a habit of grooming young boys for seduction. Culkin is one of the males prosecutors allege was singled out by the pop star while they were boys. 

Culkin said that during his visits to Neverland, he was almost always accompanied by "some kind of combination" of his parents, brothers and sisters who also were friends with the pop star. He said that Jackson had an "open door" policy, never locked his bedroom door, and that when he slept with Jackson, Culkin said, he wore jeans, socks and a T-shirt. 

The 24-year-old star disputed earlier testimony from two former Neverland employees who said they saw Jackson behaving inappropriately with him in the early 1990s, when he was a visitor at the ranch. Culkin said he was troubled that those allegations were 

"out there, and people were thinking about it."

He said he first learned of the testimony when a friend called to tell him, 

"You better check out CNN. They're saying something about you."
"I couldn't believe it," he said.
"I've never seen him do anything improper with anybody," Culkin told jurors.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Ron Zonen pressed Culkin on whether Jackson might have molested him when he was asleep -- a scenario similar to the accusations in the current indictment against Jackson.

"As far as I know, he's never molested me," Culkin said. "I find that unlikely. I think I'd realize if something like that would be happening."

A former maid, Adrian McManus, also testified she once saw Jackson put his hand on Culkin's leg and buttocks and kiss him on the cheek while they were sitting together in Neverland's library.

A grand jury indicted Jackson last year on charges of molesting a then-13-year-old boy, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family captive in 2003. Jackson pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Culkin, who was born in 1980, became friends with Jackson in the early 1990s, after he rocketed to fame in "Home Alone" and other movies. He told jurors that the two of them bonded because they were part of a "unique group" of people forced to deal with the complications of fame at an early age.

"We had a really close relationship," Culkin said. "We had this understanding of one another."

He told jurors Wednesday that Jackson had a childlike quality, playing arcade games with the children who were staying with him at the ranch.

"Although, he wasn't as good as us," Culkin said, as he looked in Jackson's direction.

Pressed by Zonen about the propriety of a 35-year-old man having such a close friendship with a 10- or 11-year-old boy, he replied, 

"I wasn't friends with a lot of 35-year-old men who understood me."

Although there have been several rumors about Jackson molesting the boy, this has always been denied by Culkin himself. Another rumor had it that Culkin fathered one or more of Jackson's children, but this has also been denied by the actor.

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