The documentary Leaving Neverland has led to an outcry against Michael Jackson, with radio stations banning his music, and The Simpsons pulling an episode he featured on from all platforms.
However Macaulay Culkin – known for his unlikely friendship with the pop star, which began when Mr Culkin was nine – has consistently spoken out in defence of Jackson, and denied there was any sexual contact.
Most recently, he spoke about the allegations on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast in January 2019.
“For me, it’s so normal and mundane… I know it’s a big deal to everyone else but to me, it was a normal friendship,” the now-38-year-old said.
“It’s easy to say it was ‘weird’ or whatever, but it wasn’t, because it made sense. It’s one of my friendships people questioned, only because of the fact he was the most famous person in the world.”
A younger Culkin also spoke about his relationship with Jackson during the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker’s 2005 sexual abuse trial.
The 24-year-old was called as a witness to the defence, and labelled the charges “absolutely ridiculous.”
However, Culkin did admit he and the singer used to sleep in the same bed – but reiterates the relationship was never sexual or uncomfortable for him. He says his parents were aware of the sleeping arrangement.
“They never really saw it as an issue,” he said in court.
However, he did corroborate part of the accuser’s testimony – in Leaving Neverland both men speak about the corridor towards Jackson’s bedroom being alarmed.
“There was like a walkway kind of thing, where if someone was approaching the door, it would kind of like ‘ding-dong ding-dong’,” Culkin said in court.
“When anyone would approach the room you’d hear this kind of… soft kind of alarm.”
Leaving Neverland’s director, Dan Reed, did not approach Culkin or Brett Barnes – another young boy who had a close friendship with Jackson – to speak in the film.
“In the end, I knew that Macaulay and Brett had made statement consistently rebutting allegations that were made,” he told Business Insider.
“I’m not in the business of outing anyone,” he said.
“I think we made it very clear in the film that they deny to this day that anything sexual happened, and I’m not about to try and change their mind about that.”