Macaulay Culkin Says His Friendship with Michael Jackson as a Child Was 'Normal' and 'Made Sense'
It didn’t help that the late musician, who died in 2009, also faced child sexual abuse allegations back then from a boy of a similar age to Culkin (Jackson was never charged).
But looking back on it, Culkin, 38, insists he and Jackson had a typical friendship.
In an appearance on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, released on Tuesday, Culkin spoke out about his relationship with the King of Pop — explaining, “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.”
“It’s one of my friendships that people question only because of the fact that he was the most famous person in the world,” Culkin said, admitting their age gap was big but, “You don’t have to explain your friendships to people.”
The two met and became close in the early ’90s, following Culkin’s breakout success in 1990’s Home Alone. At the time, Culkin’s fame made him isolated from his Catholic schoolmates, he said. Jackson was one of the few people who knew what Culkin was going through and, according to Culkin, ultimately wanted to protect him.
“He reached out to me because a lot of things were happening, big and fast with me. I think he identified with that,” said Culkin.
“I was a peerless person,” Culkin continued. “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 in that.”
Said Culkin: “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.”
He went on to describe Jackson as a “hilarious,” “generous,” “gentle,” “charming,” “silly” and “sweet” friend who loved prank calling people.
As for why Culkin thinks Jackson liked him so much? Culkin said it was because he didn’t care about Jackson’s fame.
“I really didn’t actually give a s— about famous people. I was thoroughly unimpressed by them. So when I first met him I was like, ‘Okay cool. You’re just that guy. That guy who sings songs. I sing songs in school, that’s great,’ ” Culkin said.
“I think that’s one of the reasons also why we got along,” Culkin added. “Everyone’s always thoroughly impressed by him. And so the fact there was somebody who treated him like a normal person, it was that simple.”
RELATED VIDEO: Macaulay Culkin Makes It Clear That His ‘Beloved’ Friendship With Paris Jackson Is Off Limits
Culkin has his own podcast, Bunny Ears, which is currently on hiatus.
The My Girl alum is also godfather to Jackson’s three children, including Paris — with whom he has a matching tattoo.
In August, Paris, 20, celebrated Culkin’s birthday with a sweet message on Instagram. “Happiest of birthdays mack attack,” she wrote. “[I] love you so so dearly and keep you very close to my heart. always.”
Last January, Culkin stayed decidedly mum about his friendship with Paris on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “I am close with Paris,” he started. “I’m going to warn you now, I am very protective of her, so just look out. I am a very open book when it comes to things, but like with her, she is beloved by me.”
Calling Paris “tall and beautiful and smart,” he added, “I’m just letting you know if we want to start going down that road it’s going to be a dead-end, you know, but I mean that in the fact that I love her so much.”