Kieran Culkin is opening up about the allegations leveled against Michael Jackson in Leaving Neverland, the 2019 HBO documentary featuring Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim the singer sexually abused them when they were children. The Succession actor and his superstar brother Macaulay Culkin were friends of Jackson when they were young.
“To me, it seems like there’s two sides to this thing and because I can’t be helpful on one side or the other, anything I say and anything that gets put out in print could only hurt somebody and there’s already a lot of really hurt feelings,” Culkin, 36, continued. “There are already a lot of people who are in a difficult position and if I contribute in any way, it’s just going to hurt someone because I can’t actually help.”
The Michael Jackson Estate denounced the claims laid out in the documentary and sued HBO over the film for breach of a previous contract (this month, the network asked the judge to dismiss the $100 million suit; a hearing is set for Sept. 19 in Los Angeles).
Their relationship first came into question when the King of Pop openly told British journalist Martin Bashir for his 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson that he had shared a bed with both Culkin boys at Neverland Ranch. It has since come up, after Macaulay was mentioned in Leaving Neverland.
“I have slept in the bed with many children. I sleep in the bed with all of them,” Jackson explained to Bashir. “When Macaulay Culkin [was little], Kieran Culkin would sleep on this side and Macaulay Culkin on this side, his sister is in there. We’re all just jammed in the bed. Then, we’d wake up, like, dawn and go in the hot air balloon.”
Macaulay defended his relationship with Jackson in January, saying the pair had a “normal friendship.”
“He reached out to me because a lot of things were happening big and fast with me, and I think he identified with that,” the Home Alone and My Girl star said on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast Inside of You.
“I mean 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. Here’s the thing, at the end of the day: We were friends. It’s one of my friendships that people question only because of the fact that he was the most famous person in the world.”