Pop Culture | Celebrities | 90s

Macaulay Culkin Opens Up About His Abusive Father And Michael Jackson


Macaulay Culkin has finally revealed the intimate details surrounding his childhood.

The former child star appeared on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, where he discussed a range of topics, including life as a young performer, his relationship with his father, and his "best friend" Michael Jackson.  

In the candid interview recorded earlier this year, Culkin, 38, opened up about what he's been up to for the past two decades, which included playing the lead in the 2003 film Party Monster, performing voice work for the animated sketch comedy series Robot Chicken, and playing in his band, The Pizza Underground.

Now the Home Alone star is dividing his time between New York and Paris, where is he is left alone from the vying eyes of his American fans.

"It was one of those things where I thought no one recognized me, but what it was is that they recognized me, but they just didn’t care," Culkin said on his life in Paris.

Culkin spends his days painting, writing, and spending time with his friends, including girlfriend Brenda Song, 29, but it isn't lost on him how privileged his life is: "I’m a 30-something retired person walking around with a baguette under my arm. I’m living a good life."

But before he could settle into a stable home life, Culkin lived a hectic life, much more than any young boy could cope with. Luckily, he formed a longstanding friendship with none other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Culkin first met Jackson while he was working on The Nutcracker, and began hanging out shortly after the release of Home Alone.

"We were friends. We were actually best friends for a stretch of time while I was growing up. It was a legitimate friendship," Culkin said. "He enjoyed my youthfulness. He liked being a kid. He liked being a kid with me. He like being around kids, and it never struck me as odd."

"It never felt weird," Culkin added. "It was just the way that it was. I looked at him for who he was. I was not enamored by him. We were friends."

Despite Jackson's death in 2009, Culkin remains close to the late singer's 19-year-old daughter, Paris.  

"I’m very protective of her. She's beloved by me," Culkin said of his goddaughter, adding he wouldn't discuss her any further.

However, Culkin would speak candidly about his relationship with his father and former manager, Kit.

Despite growing up as a Hollywood elite, Culkin admitted he didn't have an ideal childhood.

He said he had a poor relationship with his father, which only grew worse after being constantly surrounded by him.

"I’m going around the country locked in a room with a man who didn’t like me," Culkin said. "He was a bad man. He was abusive. Physically and mentally."

And the abuse didn't just stop at him, but also extended to his mother and seven brothers and sisters.

"He was just a bad dude. A bad abusive man. He was a piece of work," he added.

Culkin shared the story of when he hosted SNL at 11 years old, and his father refused to let him use cue cards throughout the entire episode. "Do good or I’ll hit you," Culkin recalls.

"That meant that every other person in the cast couldn’t use cue cards, either," he said, adding a cast member of the show privately told him it had never been done before.

He said his life improved following the release of Richie Rich, when his parents separated for good.

"After I did Richie Rich in ’93 or ’94, my father and mother called it quits, which is one of the best things to ever happen to me. I was able to walk away from the business. I was able to say, 'I hope you made all your money, because there’s no more coming from me,'" Culkin recalls.

He then became emancipated, which allowed him to remove his parents's control over his earnings, and live a relatively normal life as a teen.

While Culkin is still estranged from his father to this day, it hasn't hindered him from pursing challenges that matter to him.

He currently co-hosts the Bunny Ears podcast with his friend, Matt Cohen and will be appearing in the 2018 film, Changeland.

What did you think about Culkin's interview?