“He never did anything to me. I never saw him do anything. And especially at this flashpoint in time, I’d have no reason to hold anything back,” the Home Alone star told the magazine.
“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.”
Culkin and Jackson first met when the singer and Donald Trump went backstage to meet the young star after he performed in The Nutcracker at New York’s Lincoln Centre, at the age of nine.
They cemented the friendship a year later, when the youngster shot to fame in Home Alone in 1990 and Jackson called and said they should get together to talk about their similar experiences.
They had much in common — Jackson had also found fame at the age of 10 in the Jackson 5, and both had problems with their fathers.
Culkin and his younger brother Kieran regularly spent time at the Thriller singer’s remote California ranch when they were young, with the Richie Rich actor describing how they enjoyed video game competitions, water balloon fights and fell asleep on beds in Jackson’s home cinema.
Since the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary last year, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused Jackson of molesting them as young boys, fellow movie stars have also asked Culkin about his friendship with the star.
As he told Esquire, when he recently ran into James Franco on a plane, “It was right after the documentary (Leaving Neverland) came out, and he goes, ‘So, that documentary!’ … I was like, ‘Uh-huh.’ Silence. So then he goes, ‘So what do you think?’ And I turned to him and I go, ‘Do you wanna talk about your dead friend?’ And he sheepishly went, ‘No, I don’t.’ So I said, ‘Cool, man, it was nice to see you.’”
This article originally appeared in the NY Post and was reproduced with permission