On Sunday night, the outspoken artist Kanye West, who once proclaimed that Bill Cosby was “innocent,” appeared to defend accused sexual predators R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.
“They just gonna pull up full documentaries on him,” West said of Kelly during an event live-streamed by Kris Jenner. “Then they gonna come with the Michael [Jackson] documentary [...] We can all enjoy all their music all we want.”
West’s comments were made in the wake of Surviving R. Kelly, a four-part Lifetime docuseries featuring the moving testimonies of Kelly’s accusers, as well as the news that a four-hour documentary on the King of Pop’s alleged child sexual abuse, Leaving Neverland, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next week.
Now, Macaulay Culkin has weighed in on his controversial relationship with Jackson. The two became friends around the time Home Alone hit theaters, when Culkin was 10 years old and Jackson 32.
“He reached out to me because a lot of things were happening, big and fast with me and I think he identified with that,” Culkin said on actor Michael Rosenbaum’s latest edition of his podcast Inside of You, released on Tuesday. “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. At the end of the day, we were friends.”
While Culkin admitted during Jackson’s child sexual abuse trial that he’d slept in Jackson’s bed many times as a child (“I’ve fallen asleep in the same bed with him. I’d just flop down,” Culkin said), he claimed that he was never abused by the musician and called the allegations against his pal “absolutely ridiculous.”
During his chat with Rosenbaum, Culkin argued that the world only viewed their friendship as strange because of Jackson’s immense fame—and, when pressed by Rosenbaum about the big difference in age, explained that Jackson could relate to what he was going through more than his school classmates.
“Nobody else in my Catholic school had even this much idea of what I was going through and he was the kind of person who’d been through the exact same frickin’ thing and wanted to make sure I wasn’t alone,” said Culkin.
“For me, it’s so normal and mundane,” he added. “I know it’s a big deal to everyone else, but to me, it was a normal friendship.”
Culkin is the godfather of Jackson’s daughter, Paris.