As a boy, Macaulay Culkin hung out frequently with Michael Jackson, and a decade after the King of Pop’s death, he’s slamming those longstanding abuse rumors by saying Michael’ never did anything’ inappropriate.
“Look, I’m gonna begin with the line—it’s not a line, it’s the truth: He never did anything to me,” Macaulay Culkin, 39, said of his friendship with Michael Jackson in a new interview with Esquire. The Home Alone star’s friendship with Michael was well-known: Mack appeared in Michael’s “Black Or White” music video, and he spent time with the King Of Pop at his Neverland home. Because of this, and the allegations of sexual abuse, some assumed Michael must have (allegedly) abused him too. Mack denies that anything happened. “I never saw him do anything. 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,” Mack tells Esquire. He also relayed the last time he saw his longtime friend alive. It was at the men’s room at the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse in 2005. At the time, Mack was 24, while Michael was 46. Mack was testifying in Michael’s defense in People v. Michael Jackson, the case in which the singer was charged with intoxicating and molesting a thirteen-year-old boy who had cancer. Michael was eventually acquitted.
During a short recess in Mack’s testimony, the Party Monster star hit the restroom. In came Michael, who said, “We better not talk. I don’t want to influence your testimony.” They laughed a little at this, according to Esquire. The King Of Pop, according to Mack, looked exhausted. The two hugged, and that was it. Michael would be dead four years later from an overdose of medication.
Mack remains close to the Jackson family. He’s godfather to Michael’s daughter, Paris. He says he passed along the quirky habit of stealing spoons (“It’s a harmless thing. It’s not like you’re ruining something, like stealing a chess piece, where the board would be incomplete.”) and they have matching spoon tattoos. He also relayed some godfatherly advice to her. “Don’t forget to be silly, don’t forget to take something away from this whole experience, and don’t forget to stick something up your sleeve.”
The Bunny Ears podcast host also shared a good Michael Jackson story “that doesn’t involve Michael Jackson at all.” It does involve James Franco, who Mack ran into on a plane. “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. 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.’ ”