Culkin discussed his relationship with MJ in a new interview with Esquire, and the long-standing rumors that Jackson might have sexually abused him.
“Look, I’m gonna begin with the line—it’s not a line, it’s the truth: He never did anything to me,” the 39-year-old said about his friendship with Jackson, who was in his 30s when Culkin was a child star. “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.”
Culkin added, “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 last time he saw the late King of Pop was in 2005, during the People v. Michael Jackson trial. MJ was ultimately found not guilty. Still, years later, other celebrities wonder about their relationship. Culkin told Esquire that after the HBO-released documentary Leaving Neverland, he ran into James Franco on a plane, who then asked Culkin how he was feeling.
“I give him a little nod as we’re putting our bags overhead. ‘Hey, how you doing?’ ‘Good, how ya doing?’ And it was right after the Leaving Neverland documentary came out, and he goes, ‘So, that documentary!’” Culkin remembered. “And that was all he said. 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,’” he added. “So I said, ‘Cool, man, it was nice to see you.’”
Jackson and Culkin met in the early '90s, following the actor’s success in 1990’s Home Alone. They formed a close friendship, particularly since Culkin’s notoriety alienated him from his classmates. Jackson died in 2009 due to cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old.