About 28 years ago, when Macaulay Culkin was a 10-year-old star off the back of his Home Alone fame, he famously struck up a friendship with music legend Michael Jackson. At the time there was a 22-year age gap between the pair and so their relationship was a major topic of interest and speculation for fans and pretty much, the whole world.
The scrutiny was only intensified after Jackson, who died at 50 in 2009 from an overdose of propofol, stood trial in 2005 on charges tied to allegations he molested a 13-year-old boy he had befriended. The music legend was found not guilty, but the rumours lingered and eventually became a big part of Michael Jackson’s legacy.
But Macaulay Culkin does not want that story to be a part of his own legacy, which is especially understandable considering how regularly the controversy is referenced in jest, usurped inappropriately for comedy and entertainment.
On an episode of the “Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum” podcast released Tuesday, Culkin insisted their friendship was innocent, “so normal and mundane”.
Macaulay Culkin appeared in Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ music video and was made godfather to all three of the popstar’s children.
He admitted their friendship may have seemed weird on the outside due to the significant age difference and Jackson being “the most famous person in the world”, but it felt totally normal to them.
“He reached out to me because a lot of things were happening, big and fast with me and I think he identified with that,’” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s almost easy to say it was weird or whatever, but it wasn’t because it made sense. At the end of the day, we were friends.”
Culkin then explained that he had more in common with Jackson, who would have been in his thirties, than children at his school as they had both found fame really young, with the music icon joining family group The Jackson 5 when he was only five years old.
“I was a peerless person. Nobody else in my Catholic school had even this much idea of what I was going through and he was the kind of person who’d been through the exact same frickin’ thing and wanted to make sure I wasn’t alone,” he said. “For me, it’s so normal and mundane… I know it’s a big deal to everyone else, but to me, it was a normal friendship.”
The iconic child star also recalled how he would prank call people with the ‘Beat It’ singer, who he described as “hilarious,” “sweet,” and “funny”.
Let’s consider this a request from Macaulay Culkin that people stop publicly dissecting his childhood with assumptions and aspersions, and absolutely cut the gross jokes. He shouldn’t have to ask for that, because it should really never be a joke.