Thanks to Leaving Neverland, there's a widespread assumption that everyone who ever stayed over at Michael Jackon's house ended up with an express ticket to a therapist's couch. No one knows that better than Macaulay Culkin.
Back when Culkin was the biggest child star in the world, Jackson took something of a shine to him, including toting him to major awards ceremonies and having him stay at Neverland Ranch in California for sleepovers.
In a new cover-story interview with Esquire magazine, the now 39-year-old actor notes that he's been frequently asked about his relationship with Jackson, including times since the release of Leaving Neverland. In the documentary interviewees Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children during sleepovers.
Jackson's estate and family have denied those and other accusations as false, as did the singer before his death in 2009.
In his Esquire interview, Calkin says, "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 flashpoint 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."
The piece suggests that Jackson and Culkin connected because they were both child stars pushed to overachieve by their fathers:
Jackson was often the schoolmate he never had. 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.
You can read the entire interview, in which the former Home Alone star argues that he's as normal as the rest of us, and that he completely blew an interview for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, here.