Former child star Macauley Culkin has opened up about his controversial friendship with pop star Michael Jackson.
The pair became close friends in the 1990s, despite the 22-year age gap, after Culkin became a household name following roles in movies such as Home Alone and Uncle Buck.
But the friendship took on a sinister edge when Jackson was accused of sexually assaulting the the child of a family friend in 1993.
Though a lawsuit was initially filed by the child’s family, the criminal investigation was eventually dropped after Jackson and the family reached a financial settlement.
Culkin has now had his say in a rare interview with Esquire, saying he “never saw anything”.
He said: “I’m gonna begin with the line - it’s not a line, it’s the truth - he never did anything to me.
“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.”
Accusations of misconduct with children tarnished Jackson’s reputation, and along with his every changing physical appearance, his life became less about music and more of a media circus - the British press even took to referring to him as ‘Wacko Jacko’.
There was further controversy with the 2003 Martin Bashir documentary Living With Michael Jackson, which saw the star say he had often shared his bed with children.
He was then accused of child molestation again and was tried in 2005, with Culkin testifying as a character witness - the last time the pair saw one another. Jackson was later acquitted.
Jackson died in 2009 and his reputation took another hit ten years after his death with the release of the damning documentary Leaving Neverland, where separate accusations were made by two further alleged victims.