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Macaulay Culkin and His Family on Their Friendship With Michael Jackson

"Michael is one of the most important people in my life. He was my best friend. We were strongly connected because he knew what I was going through. Stress, abuse, an oppressive family. He was always present and understanding. "

Marc Maron's podcast (2018)

“He enjoyed my youthfulness. He liked being a kid with me. It never struck me as odd. I never felt uncomfortable. That was just the way he was.”

Culkin says that after the trial “[Michael] didn’t wanna go back home. Everything in his life felt tainted. That was what happened with that last trial [in 2005], everything felt tainted. The only thing that was important to him was his immediate family.”

Attorney Thomas Mesereau about Macaulay Culkin (2011)

"I have to say, Chris Tucker and Macaulay Culkin will always go down in my book as loyal, good friends. They had managers and agents, and lawyers who didn't want them to get involved [in Jackson's 2005 trial] and they both told me 'Michael needs us, we're going to be there'."

At his court appearance for Michael Jackson's trial in 2005

February 2020 (Esquire Interview)

Jackson got in touch with Mack after Home Alone, and suddenly they were hanging out. His parents neither encouraged nor discouraged the friendship. The way Mack sees it, Michael had a similar childhood, which is to say that he didn’t really have one, because his father was forcing fame upon him. So, at twenty-two years older than Mack, living in a place called Neverland, he felt the same age, in a way.

Mack and Jackson used to prank call people. Jackson used to do these voices, real nerdy—“Hello, I’d like to buy a refrigerator. How big are your refrigerators?” And Mack would laugh and laugh.

The last time Mack saw him was in the men’s room at the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse in 2005. Mack was twenty-four. Michael was forty-six. Mack was testifying in Jackson’s defense in People v. Michael Jackson, in which the singer was charged with intoxicating and molesting a thirteen-year-old boy who had cancer. He was eventually acquitted.

There was a short recess during Mack’s testimony. Mack took a leak, and Michael came in. Jackson said, “We better not talk. I don’t want to influence your testimony.” They laughed a little at this. Michael Jackson, who had been more famous perhaps even than Macaulay Culkin when he was eight, ten, eleven years old, looked whipped. Exhausted. Drained.

They hugged.


“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 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."


Kieren Culkin

In June 2003, Kieren Culkin reacted to the criticism against Jackson after “Living with Michael Jackson” was aired. Jackson told Martin Bashir that Macaulay Culkin, Kieren Culkin, and their sisters would sleep in his bed and go on hot air balloon flights with him.

"Have you ever been in a balloon. It's fucking cool! When you're up you can see everything so clearly, it's exactly like flying, and you can go so low you can see the expressions on people's faces ... "

Kieran has never talked about his relationship with Michael Jackson, or Martin Bashir's documentary, and he's not about to today. Through a series of cat'n'mouse questions, mostly unanswered, a nod here, a grimace there, this is what we glean: he's loyal, he'd like to defend his friend, but he can't because if he did, it would become a balloon-sized media event, flying around the world in a day.

"I'd like to talk about it," he says, pulling his hair so high it's now vertical, "but it's kinda weird as I haven't spoken with Michael for over two years."

He doubts if Martin Bashir will ever be granted an exclusive interview again. He saw journalistic deception, and he wasn't surprised. "I've just always been totally skeptical, obviously," he says, suddenly aging 10 years, suddenly becoming battle-hard Igby, "from a really young age. I read stuff all the time in newspapers that I know for a fact is bullshit. And people believe it all. So, I don't even read any of it anymore."

Kieren and Macaulay Culkin with Michael Jackson

Currently working for HBO, Kieren Culkin declined to comment on “Leaving Neverland”:

“The only thing I can say is that I can’t really say anything and the reason for that is I can’t be helpful to anyone. To me, it seems like there’s two sides to this thing and because I can’t be helpful on one side or the other, anything I say and anything that gets put out in print could only hurt somebody and there’s already a lot of really hurt feelings."


Excerpts from "Lost Boy" by Kit Culkin, Macaulay's father (2005)

“Michael’s bedroom (an enormous room with alcoves and dressing rooms and a fireplace and French doors leading out to a private garden, as well as a stairway leading to the entire upstairs) was almost always an open place to hang out in, as was most all of the rest of the house. My children would sit on the bed, as would I, to play cards or checkers, or watch television or whatever, but then we would do so most everywhere else also. They might of occasion fall asleep there, just as they might of occasion fall asleep most anywhere else, and at most any daylight hour. While they had a bedtime, I rarely enforced it, as they were, after all, at Neverland to play; and as is most always the case with children (as any parent will tell you), they never enforced it themselves, thinking that they should get some rest so as to be better rested to play again the coming day. Children don’t worry about “the coming day”. Therefore, I was constantly and most usually after suppertime, having to round them up and often carry them (sometimes by golf cart) to their accommodations. They’d fall asleep watching a movie at the movie theater or playing with the toy trains in the toy trains room, and there was one occasion, I well remember, when one of them was actually found asleep on the carousel!”

He also wrote: “First of all, I never saw or heard anything at all during my early days of knowing Michael to suggest that he was a pedophile. I would note that a busload or two of kids might arrive at the estate of an afternoon and be taken straight to the amusement park or the movie theater, and then just as swiftly be bused back off the grounds. In fact, I believe that there was an entire office in an adjacent building and an entire staff that was responsible for overseeing these visits; and I noted also that on no occasion at all did any of these children ever get asked to the house for any reason whatsoever. These were all strictly well-planned and well-supervised excursions, and the people who made them up quite apart from the people (such as those of my own family) who were actual guests. And while we’re on the subject of guests, this list was hardly confined to children. Indeed, adults roamed most everywhere, many of them from the world of government, including (just for instance) former President and neighbor Ronald Reagan, together with “Just-Say-No” Nancy, as well as Secretary of Defense William Cohen and not a few others that I’ve since forgotten; none of whom certainly gave one the feeling that the estate was (goodness knows) a den of pedophilia.”


[5] Kit Culkin – Lost Boy (May 09, 2005, the book was published and distributed exclusively through

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