Michael Jackson is once again in the headlines for allegations of sexually abusing children. It recently emerged that accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who several years ago filed lawsuits against Jackson for allegedly molesting them when they were boys, may still get their day in court.
The fiasco has been drawn out for years and has put Macaulay Culkin, who was close as a child with Jackson, in the spotlight, but the "Home Alone" star fervently denies any sexual contact with the King of Pop.
Now Culkin is once again defending Jackson in an interview for Esquire's March 2020 cover story.
"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," Culkin said pointedly. "The guy has passed on," he continued, "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 forged a solid bond after the former child star appeared in the "Black and White" music video. In 2005, Culkin was a character witness when Jackson went to court on allegations of molesting a 13-year-old boy with cancer — a case from which he was later acquitted.
One of the last things Jackson said to Culkin was that they "better not talk," as it could influence Culkin's testimony. Four years later Jackson died, but the rumors were never laid to rest.
HBO's "Leaving Neverland" brought the sexual allegations against Jackson to the forefront. It was a sore point for Culkin, who set the record straight when James Franco asked his opinion about the documentary after bumping into him at an airport shortly after the production's release.
"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 recalled.
He has always defended his friendship with Jackson and understandably so. As godfather to Jackson's daughter Paris, Culkin has an obligation to protect her father's name. He has remained close with Paris and the two share similar quirks — like stealing spoons from cafes, airplanes, and restaurants. It is all harmless fun, Culkin said.
"It's not like you're ruining something, like stealing a chess piece, where the board would be incomplete," he said.
The two swap spoons and have matching spoon tattoos on their inner arms. The utensil has also been the inspiration for some solid godfatherly advice imparted by Culkin.
"Don't forget to be silly," he told Paris, adding that she should not forget to take something away from her life's experience and most importantly, "don't forget to stick something up your sleeve."
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