Macaulay Culkin Defends "Normal Friendship" With Michael Jackson

"A lot of things were happening big and fast with me, and I think he identified with that," the former child star explains

By Zach Johnson Jan 16, 2019 1:20 PMTags
Michael Jackson, Macaulay CulkinKevin Kane/Getty Images

In Michael Rosenbaum's podcast, former child star Macaulay Culkin has opened up about his friendship with the late Michael Jackson, saying "it made sense" despite their 22-year age gap.

Joking the host "ambushed" him with questions about Jackson just before Inside of You's Jan. 15 episode finished taping, Culkin recalled how the King of Pop befriended him in the early 1990s (after Home Alone made him a massive star at the tender age of 10). "He reached out to me because a lot of things were happening big and fast with me. And I think...yes, I think he identified with that," he explained. "I mean, at the end of the day, it's almost easy to try say it was 'weird' or whatever, but it wasn't, because it made sense. Like, we were legitimate...At the end of the day, we were friends—in the most simple [way]. It's one of my friendships that people question, only because of the fact that he was the most famous person in the world."

"Like, we're friendly, but people wouldn't question that," Culkin, 38, told Rosenbaum, 46. "You don't have to explain that to people...Seriously, how many friendships have you had to explain?"

Culkin understands why people are fascinated by their friendship, but said, "For me, it's so normal and mundane. I know it's a big deal to everybody else, but it was a normal friendship."

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The actor has previously admitted to sharing Jackson's bed a number of times between the ages of 10 and 14; while testifying at Jackson's child molestation trial in 2005, Culkin vehemently denied the singer had ever molested him. After Rosenbaum noted their age gap was confusing, Culkin said Jackson—a former child star himself—understood him in a way most couldn't. "I was a peerless person," he insisted. "Nobody else in my Catholic school even had 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 in that kind of [situation]."

Culkin was able to stay friends with Jackson because he never treated him like the megastar he was. "I really didn't actually give a s--t about famous people. I was thoroughly unimpressed by them. So, when I first met him, I was just like, 'OK, cool. You're just that guy. Oh, that guy who sings songs? Cool. I sing songs in school. Great,'" he said. "I think that's one of the reasons why we got along; everyone was always thoroughly unimpressed by him. So the fact that [I was] somebody who was kind of just treating him like a normal person...Yeah. It was that simple."

Calling the "Thriller" singer "charming," "generous, "gentle" and "silly," Culkin recalled how Jackson loved to prank call people. "He was f--king awesome. He was hilarious. He was sweet," Culkin said of the pop singer, who died in 2009. "People don't know how funny he f--king was!"