The former child actor starred in Jackson’s music video for “Black and White,” and became close friends with him. Jackson later faced allegations of sexually abusing boys, but Culkin maintained that he had never seen him do anything inappropriate.
“I’m gonna begin with the line — it’s not a line, it’s the truth — he never did anything to me,” Culkin told Esquire. “I never saw him do anything. And especially at this flash point 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.”
In 2005, Jackson was charged with intoxicating and molesting a 13-year-old boy, but was later acquitted. Culkin testified in Jackson’s defense in the case, which was the last time he saw Jackson before his death in 2009.
HBO’s 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland” continued to spark conversation surrounding Jackson’s legacy. The doc detailed the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, whom alleged that Jackson sexually abused them as children for years.
Culkin also admitted in the interview that he had dark moments in his life that led him to drug use.
“I played with some fire, I guess is the best way to put it,” he said. “At the same time, I’ve never been to rehab or anything like that. “I’ve never had to clean out that way. There were certain times when I had to catch myself, once or twice… I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t had drugs in my life at some point or another.”
In the Esquire interview, Culkin revealed he and former Disney star Brenda Song are also planning to start a family together. The two met on the set of their 2019 film, “Changeland.”
“We practice a lot,” Culkin said. “We’re figuring it out, making the timing work. Because nothing turns you on more than when your lady comes into the room and says, ‘Honey, I’m ovulating.'”