Sunday, July 21, 2024

Macaulay Culkin Exonerates Michael Jackson in New Interview: “Right now is a good time to speak up…he never did anything to me”


Macaulay Culkin exonerates Michael Jackson from all rumors concerning possible or alleged child molestation in the new issue of Esquire. Bravo to the magazine in the first place for putting Mack on the cover. And the piece itself is a terrific read.

But let’s cut to the chase. Culkin spent a lot of time with Michael when he was a child. Former Neverland employees made up all kinds of stories of things they said they saw concerning the older pop singer and the child star. But Culkin testified in 2005 at Michael’s trial that nothing untoward happened between them. He attended Jackson’s private funeral in 2009. And he’s remained close to Jackson’s daughter, Paris.

Now Macaulay says in Esquire that nothing happened between them except friendship. I believe him. In light of the one sided documentary Leaving Neverland, and lawsuits from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, Mack could just verify their stories and end all the speculation. But he doesn’t. Quite the contrary. I don’t think the Jackson Estate put him up to this. Culkin is very outspoken and not manipulated.

“Look,” he says in the magazine. “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 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.”

And that’s it. He does recall his last meeting with Michael, seeing him in the men’s room of the Santa Maria courthouse. He says Michael didn’t want to taint his testimony so their conversation was limited. It’s instructive that Michael didn’t contact him during the following four years before his death. But Jackson was simply worn out mentally, I think, from the trauma of the trial. He couldn’t come back from it.

Anyway, nice story and and a good way to settle old rumors.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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