Former child star Maculey Culkin discussed his friendship with Michael Jackson in a new interview with Marc Maron, Consequence of Sound reports.
Culkin claims that his relationship with Jackson, who was charged with seven counts of child molestation in 2003 before being acquitted, was never inappropriate or uncomfortable.
“He was my best friend growing up for a good, fat stretch of my life,” he said, detailing how he first met Jackson backstage at a performance of The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center. Jackson was with his good friend and future President Donald Trump at the time they met.
Maron grilled Culkin on Jackson’s behavior, and while Culkin admited that Jackson was “emotionally young,” he framed it innocently.
“He enjoyed my youthfulness. He liked being a kid with me,” he said. “It never struck me as odd. I never felt uncomfortable. That was just the way he was.”
He also provided a bit of insight into Jackson’s mindset in his final years. “He didn’t wanna go back home. Everything in his life felt tainted,” he said. “That was what happened with that last trial [in 2005], everything felt tainted. The only thing that was important to him was his immediate family.” Culkin then revealed he’s the godfather of Jackson’s daughter, Paris.
He also discussed his own father. “We didn’t like each other,” he said. “He was a bad man. He was abusive, physically and mentally. I can show you all my scars if you want to. He was a bad dude.” Culkin said his father’s abuse extended to the rest of his family, too, and briefly touched on what forgiveness looks like in a situation such as that.