MACAULAY CULKIN as Michael Jackson’s TRUE FRIEND
There is a reason for everything that happens. If it weren’t for the 2005 trial we wouldn’t have a chance now to read MACAULAY CULKIN’S testimony of May 12, 2005 which is a complete masterpiece and is probably the best thing the actor has done since his great “Home Alone” movies.
The media usually refers to this testimony in one sentence only – “Culkin denies abuse”, but it surely deserves much more attention especially when taken in combination with the words of those witnesses for the prosecution who spoke against Culkin at the 2005 trial. These include former Neverland employees Adrian McManus and Phillip Lemarque. McManus, who worked as a maid, told jurors that she saw Jackson once kiss Culkin on the cheek while “he had his hand kind of by his leg, kind of on his rear end.”
Lemarque provided a more graphic testimony. The former Neverland majordomo claimed that he saw Jackson fondle Culkin while the pair played a video game in Neverland’s arcade sometime in 1991 (Culkin was 10 or 11 at the time). Source: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0511051culkin1.html).
The Smoking Gun says about him:
“Along with his wife Stella Marcroft, Phillip Lemarque worked at Neverland for a brief period in the early 90s (the couple says their Jackson employment, which ended around late-1991, lasted two years, while other accounts put their tenure at 10 months). It was during that time, Lemarque has told investigators, that he witnessed Jackson act inappropriately with Culkin and other boys”.
Lemarque (now 74) “is a French expat who once wrote of his and his wife’s Neverland responsibilities, “Stella was Michael Jackson’s private chef, I was the major d’homo in charge of organizing Michael’s entertainment activities.”
After both of them were fired by Jackson’s aide Norma Staikos in 1991 Lemarque opened an Encino restaurant in Bourbon Street but amassed $455,000 in debt through his operation of it. It was during his personal bankruptcy proceeding that he was peddling a Jackson ‘molestation’ tale.
“Philippe and Stella Lemarque first reached out to a supermarket tabloid in 1991 but the story wasn’t published then. While looking for the right media channel the Lemargues were not above tailoring their story to fit their needs. They initially asked $100100 claiming they saw MJ sexually caress young visitors including Macaulay Culkin. As their asking price rose the story changed. When their price increased to $500000 Michael’s hand moved into Culkin’s pants”.
The couple contacted former porn star Paul Barresi to aid them in selling it to a London tabloid. “Barresi admitted he didn’t care if the tale was true – he was just helping them to sell it because he was promised a percentage of the selling price. Barresi himself pulled an end-around on the couple, selling their story to the Globe after surreptitiously taping a meeting during which the pair laid out their charges against Jackson (the resulting piece was headlined “We Saw Michael Molesting Child Star”.)
According to the Smoking Gun Lemarque later turned into a “master authority” on Internet porn running a hardcore web site stocked with video and photos depicting “nudity and heterosexual, bi-sexual, homosexual, and transsexual situations”. In 1997, he launched Virtual Sin web site (billed as “the most sinful site on the internet”) which he operated until 2004.
“In addition to Virtual Sin, Lemarque also operated Galaxy 2001, a how-to site for wannabe online porn operators. “Selling SEX is not difficult if you know how to manage your boat through the intricacies of the Internet,” noted Lemarque. He claimed that Galaxy 2001 doubled as a web host and housed “hundred of adult web sites” on its servers.
Among the porn tutorials sold by Lemarque was one offering instruction on how to shoot your own sex videos. The site also contained a flashing link with the words “TEENS TEENS TEENS” that went to another Lemarque site where the X-rated photos featured women clearly beyond 19.” (Full story on Lemarque: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0404051lemarque1.html)
O-la-la…. so this was the man who testified against Jackson and said he had seen him act inappropriately with Culkin and other boys? What a reckless thing to do was to employ him at all! Though he was surely hired by Michael’s assistants, not him. Well, at least they saw through him after 10 months of his employment. I can VERY well imagine what stuff he could have left at Neverland to be later picked up by the police as Michael’s belongings. O-la-la…
It is amazing, but no one ever tried to check up with Macaulay the absurd stories told about him by those ‘witnesses’. In fact Culkin couldn’t believe his eyes when he read what they were saying about him!
Here are some excerpts from Macaulay Culkin’s cross-examination by Ronald Zonen and Tom Mesereau telling us what actually happened (or, to be more exact, did not happen) to Macaulay when he was around Michael Jackson:
Q. How long has he been a friend of yours?
A. I first met him when I was 9 or 10 years old.
Q. And how did you meet him?
A. He kind of called me out of the blue one time, just said, “Hey,” you know, “This is Michael Jackson.” And this is after the “Home Alone” movie had come out. So it’s kind of like — it was like, ”I think I understand kind of what’s happening, and I’d like to get together and talk.”
Q. And he’s still your friend?
A. Yes, he is.
Q. When did you visit Neverland for the first time?
A. It was after he had called that first time. He invited us, me and my family, over there to hang out.
Q. And did you and your family go to Neverland?
A. Yes, we did.
Q. Did you hang out?
A. Yes, we did.
Q. How long did you hang out there with him?
A. I think the first trip we were there for about three or four days. It was me and my younger brother and my mother and my father.
Q. How many times do you think you visited Neverland?
A. More than a dozen times from basically when I was about 10 to when I was about 14 years old. When I first — when I first went there, it was such an amazing place, that I decided to — you know, any opportunity I had to go out there, I would go.
Q. Okay. And what do you remember about your first visit to Neverland?
A. It was big. It was — it was — I had never seen anything like it before. Especially considering it was someone’s house. And he was a nice guy. I remember he laughed because I referred to all the Ninja Turtles by their first names, and things like that. And so it was one of those kind of things where it was just very — it was very casual, really.
Q. What are some of the things you did at Neverland with your family?
A. Saw a movie in the movie theater. Rode on the amusement park rides, and — just everything, you know. Just used the facilities, basically.
Q. How many times do you think your family has been to Neverland?
A. About the same amount of times. When I was younger they were there virtually every time I was there.
Q. Have you seen Michael Jackson outside of Neverland?
Q. Where have you seen him?
A. Whenever. I’d be staying at a hotel and he’d come and pick me and my brothers up, and we’d sneak into a movie theater like in the middle of the night — in the middle of, like, you know, a movie, because that was the only way you could really see an actual movie in an actual movie theater with him. Just a number of occasions.
A. He was in London when I was out there doing a play. And he was out there for, I don’t know, maybe a week or so. We hung out two times, three times.
Q. Now, in London, what did you do with Michael Jackson?
A. Hung out with his kids. We had — we had a dinner with a group of people, most of whom I had not met before, but just — it was a nice, casual, sit-down dinner. And just saw the kids, things like that. I always liked seeing the kids.
Q. And you’re talking about Michael’s kids?
Q. You heard about some of the allegations about whether or not Mr. Jackson improperly ever touched you, right?
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever molest you?
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever improperly touch you?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Has Mr. Jackson ever touched you in any sexual type of way?
Q. Has he ever touched you in any offensive way?
Q. What do you think of these allegations?
A. I think they’re absolutely ridiculous.
Q. When did you first learn that these prosecutors were claiming that you were improperly touched?
A. When did I first learn that?
A. I — somebody called me up and said, “You should probably check out CNN, because they’re saying something about you”.
Q. And did you check it out?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And what did you learn?
A. I learned that it was a former cook had done something to me, and there was something about a maid or something like that. It was just one of those things where I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that, first of all, these people were saying these things or — let alone that it was out there and people were thinking that kind of thing about me. And at the same time it was amazing to me that they — that nobody approached me and even asked me whether or not the allegations were true. They kind of just were — threw it out there just like — they didn’t even — they didn’t even double-check it basically. I mean, even if they assumed that they knew the answer, what got me was that they didn’t even ask.
Q. Now, are you saying these prosecutors never tried to reach you to ask you your position on this?
A. No, they didn’t.
Q. Do you know if any police officer from Santa Barbara has ever tried to call you to see what the truth is?
Q. Have you ever been to Michael Jackson’s bedroom?
Q. And when did you first see Michael Jackson’s bedroom?
A. I think it was probably the first trip.
Q. And did you go in there with your family?
Q. And what do you recall about Michael Jackson’s room?
A. It was large. It was — it was a very comfortable place. He had paintings and all those kind of things on the wall. It was — you know, it had two bedrooms and it was two stories high. It was — you know, it’s not what you normally associate with a bedroom.
Q. And have you and your family stayed in that room?
Q. How many times, do you think?
A. Handful of times.
Q. How about your brother?
A. Whenever I was there, my little brother was kind of always tagging along with me, so he was usually anywhere I was.
Q. Where else at Neverland have you been with Michael Jackson?
A. Everywhere, essentially. We were always hanging out together, just like I said, and using all the facilities; the zoo, the arcade, or the movie theater, wherever.
Q. What have you done with him?
A. Like I said, we used everything. We’d play video games. We would fill up a bunch of water balloons and toss them around. Just things like that. It was just good old fun, just like a bunch of, like, kids basically having a good time.
Q. What time of day would you play video games with Mr. Jackson?
A. Anytime. You know, sometimes — I mean, sometimes I fell asleep in the arcade and I’d wake up and just start playing, you know. It was one of those kind of things where, you know, you’d be up half the night, you’d be — you know, you’d be kind of in and out of all these places.
Q. Did you ever get the feeling that your family was being excluded from anything you did at Neverland?
A. Absolutely not….It was a real open-door policy just with the entire ranch.
Q. That applied to your family as well as you?
A. Yes, everyone.
Q. You’re complaining that we didn’t interview you?
A. I’m just saying it was something that – I said I kind of just — all of a sudden I turn on the television or look on the Internet and there was those things out there, and it was just surprising to me.
Q. Mr. Culkin, are you completely unaware of the fact that law enforcement has made a number of efforts to gain access to you to talk to you?
A. Like I said, I’m unaware.
Q. Okay. Have you ever traveled with Michael Jackson?
Q. Where did you travel to?
A. We took a trip, I was going with some family friends. We were going to Bermuda, and I said, ”We’re going.” And he said, “Is it all right if I tag along?” And I said, “Yes.” So we did that. After that, we ended up in — we decided to fly back to Orlando, because the family friends that I was traveling with, that’s where they were from. So we went there, went to Disney World for a day or two, and ended up flying back with my family.
Q. And did Mr. Jackson ever do anything improper to you on any of these trips?
Q. Ever see him do anything that you found disturbing on any of these trips?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Has Mr. Jackson ever hugged you?
Q. Have you ever hugged him?
Q. Were you ever suspicious of any of these hugs as being something sexual in nature?
A. No, it was always very casual. It was just the way I hug any of my friends.
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson hug your sister?
Q. Were you ever suspicious of his hugging your sister?
Q. Ever see Mr. Jackson hug your brothers?
Q. Ever see them hug him?
Q. Did you ever think anything suspicious was going on when your brothers hugged Mr. Jackson?
A. No, it was always just how you kind of greeted him, greeted almost anyone basically that you were close with.
Q. When he got there, he gave you a watch, did he not?
A. I think that’s when he gave me the watch.
Q. It was a Rolex?
Q. He gave a Rolex to an 11-year-old child?
A. Yeah. But it wasn’t — it wasn’t anything all that crazy to me. I didn’t see it as anything like that. I was not a person without means, so it wasn’t anything that was all that awe-inspiring. I mean, my father had a Rolex. It was that kind of thing.
Q. You’re an 11-year-old child, but you felt it was okay to invite Mr. Jackson to attend a trip that you were going on with another family?
A. Yeah. I mean, and they were fine with it, from what I remember.
Q. Was it your belief that he was there to visit with you?
A. Yeah, to visit, and spend some time in Bermuda.
Q. All right. And to spend a week or more with a ten-year-old child?
A. To spend a week or more with me, yes.
Q. Prior to staying in Bermuda, had you ever spent the night alone with Mr. Jackson?
A. How do you mean “spend the night”?
Q. Did you ever share a bed with Mr. Jackson prior to going to Bermuda?
A. Yeah, I mean, I’d fallen asleep in the same bed as him.
Q. Did you ever do that, fall asleep in the same bed as Mr. Jackson prior to going to Bermuda where none of your brothers or sisters were present?
A. It’s possible. But like I said, usually my brother was tagging along with me. But I fell asleep basically everywhere in that ranch, or anywhere else when I was hanging out with him. I would just flop down on the floor half the time.
Q. Mr. Culkin, the question was, did you ever share a bed with Mr. Jackson —
Q. — the two of you by yourself, prior to going to Bermuda?
A. If I remember correctly, probably, yes.
Q. On approximately how many occasions did you and Mr. Jackson share a bed the entire night prior to going to Bermuda?
A. A handful of times.
Q. Was it your expectation that while in Bermuda you would be sharing a hotel room and a bed with Mr. Jackson?
A. I don’t remember it being like an expectation. It was — I may have fallen asleep in the same bed with him there, but it was just as likely I’d fall asleep on the couch watching T.V.
Q. You might have fallen asleep in the bed with Mr. Jackson in Bermuda?
A. I might have fallen asleep on his bed, yes.
Q. All right. On how many of those occasions were you there by yourself without any sibling, alone, without any sibling at all?
A. I don’t really remember. But most every time I was there, I was there with my siblings. And most every time I was with my siblings, they were, like, with me the entire time.
Q. In fact, none of your brothers ever shared a bed with Mr. Jackson by themselves either, did they?
A. I’m not sure if that’s true. But I don’t –I don’t know. Sometimes I would — I wouldn’t fall asleep. I’d be up for a little bit longer and, you know, my brothers would fall asleep who knows where.
Q. But there were occasions when you went to Neverland without your siblings and without your parents; is that right?
A. I think I took one trip there where I arrived there before my family did, for like a day or two, and then they showed up.
Q. Up until the age of, say, 14, are you telling us every time you went to Neverland you were with your parents and your siblings?
A. In some kind of combination of siblings and parents, yes.
Q. You never once went to Neverland by yourself?
A. Like I said, I think I showed up — I showed up there once, and it was like a day or two and then my family met me there.
A. It would be — I slept in his room about as often as I fell asleep anywhere. Like, I fell asleep — I would flop down – we’d fall asleep in the movie theater. He has beds in the movie theater. I’d flop down and fall asleep there. I’ve fallen asleep in the video game machines before. I mean, I’ve — I would go and play there basically until I’d just run myself out, and I would just flop down wherever I needed to.
Q. And you’d be pretty exhausted and go fast asleep; is that right?
A. Yeah, I mean, that would happen. I’d wear myself out and fall asleep, just like any kid would.
Q. While you were asleep as a nine-year-old kid who had run himself ragged, you wouldn’t know what happened while you were asleep, right?
A. I find that unlikely.
Q. Well, but you just told us that sometimes you’d be so exhausted after a day of playing you’d fall asleep on a machine.
A. Yeah, but I think I’d realize if something like that was happening to me.
Q. Yes? And on many of those occasions, you would fall asleep in his bed?
A. It would happen.
Q. So you would have no recollection at all, of all of your visits to Neverland, of ever actually making arrangements to simply go to bed like anybody else, putting on pajamas and crawling into bed and turning out the light?
A. I never really wore pajamas. But at the same time, it was something like — I mean, occasionally, yeah, I’d have to — like, we’d have to wake up early in the morning because – for whatever reason, because I’d have to — because we were going to be leaving in the morning or whatever. I mean, sometimes I was put on a schedule.
Q. Mr. Culkin, as a nine-year-old child, what did you wear to bed?
A. I wore my clothes.
Q. You would just wear whatever you were wearing during the day?
Q. Every single night?
A. Up until I was about 17 years old. That’s when I kind of discovered what pajamas were.
Q. And you did that at home as well?
Q. Whatever you were wearing?
A. I always fell asleep in jeans and socks and a T-shirt.
Q. All right. So whenever you were at Neverland, you would crawl into bed in jeans and socks and a T-shirt?
Q. How old were you when you stopped sleeping in bed with Michael Jackson?
A. Well, like I said, I stopped going there just because I had really — I had never really found myself going to Los Angeles or anything like that. So I didn’t really come back again until I was about 17.
Q. The question was, when did you stop sleeping —
A. I know. I’m getting there. And so when I got — when I started coming back again, I found myself just not sleeping in bed. And I’ve always kind of fell asleep in the guest units ever since then.
Q. Why didn’t you stay with Mr. Jackson in his room?
A. Because I enjoyed my privacy a little bit more.
Q. All right. So is it safe to say that up until and through your 13th year, you stayed with Mr. Jackson in his room?
A. On occasion — On occasion I’d fall asleep there or wherever. It wasn’t really like a thing to, like, ”Let’s go to sleep in a particular place.” On occasion I’d end up falling asleep there. I’d fall asleep anywhere.
Q. Did he tell you how close he felt to you?
A. Yeah, and I’m trying to explain —
THE COURT: You don’t need to explain.
A. Okay. I understand. Yeah, we were close.
Q. Did he start telling you about seeing you as family early on in your relationship with him?
A. I don’t know how far into the relation – or friendship it was, that we started talking about how close we felt. But it was definitely something where we understood each other early on.
Q. Even when you were nine years old?
A. Because of circumstances, yes.
Q. Did he give gifts to your parents?
A. I think so. But I honestly don’t remember. This is a while ago. But he was — he was very generous. He always gave gifts to everybody.
Q. Were you ever introduced to Jordie Chandler?
A. I couldn’t say. I met handfuls of people kind of going in and out. There was always kind of a revolving door of staff and of people kind of coming in. Sometimes there would be guests there that I had never really met before or things like that.
Q. Were you ever in Mr. — in Mr. Jackson’s bedroom overnight while another boy was present in that room, other than your brothers?
A. On occasion, the other kids there that — like I said, some of them were introduced — like, I was introduced to as, like, cousins or family friends and stuff like that. And they’d bring their kids there, and then — same as me. They would –they would play with me, and we’d fall asleep anywhere, sometimes his bedroom, sometimes in the theater, sometimes anywhere.
Q. How many nights do you believe you spent alone in Michael Jackson’s room and in his bed, alone with Michael Jackson, between the ages of 9, 10 and 14?
A. It couldn’t have been more than like – it was a handful of times. It couldn’t have been more than, like, five times, four times.
Q. All right. After age 10, from age 11 through 14, how many times do you think you went to Neverland?
A. From 10 to 14? Like, six to eight times.
Q. And of those six to eight times, how many times of those did you spend in his — let me redo that again. Six to eight times doesn’t necessarily mean six to eight nights, does it?
A. No, I would — sometimes I would stay for a weekend, sometimes it would be – I’d try to get up there — even if it was for a day, I’d go up there. But sometimes it would be, like, four days, sometimes five days.
Q. What’s the longest you ever stayed at Neverland?
A. When I was — I think I was 20, I stayed there for about, I don’t know, 10 days, 14 days. And that was the longest trip I’d ever taken there.
Q. At age 20?
Q. All right. Well, can I assume that at age 20 you were not sleeping with Michael Jackson?
A. I don’t think he was there on that trip. I kind of just said, “I need to relax. Is it okay if I use your house?” And he said, “Sure.” I was just staying there by myself, and I’d just stay in the guest units, and it was just — it was just that. He wasn’t even there.
Q. But even at age 20, you would not have been sleeping with him in any event; is that correct?
A. Probably not. Like I said, you know, as you get older, you start enjoying your privacy and you start getting on more of a schedule. And I was falling asleep on — I had more of a schedule going.
Q. Have you slept with Mr. Jackson since you turned 20?
Q. Did you ever spend a night in Mr. Jackson’s bedroom with another boy, not your brothers?
A. Sometimes. Sometimes, like I said, there would be kids there. They’d be introduced as cousins or something like that. And they would hang with us, just as much as anyone else would.
Q. Can you describe any of them?
A. They were kids. They were — you know, some of them had dark hair. Darker skin, that kind of thing. Whenever I was around, sometimes there would be other kids around. And, you know, it wasn’t like we all, like, “Oh, it’s time to go to bed. Let’s huddle in.” Its like, you know, you’re chatting in bed, and the next thing you know you’re asleep.
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever take you on shopping sprees?
A. Yeah, we’d go shopping.
A. We used to do this thing where in the middle of the night — not necessarily the middle of the night, but around, like, after the stores had closed, he would arrange for us to go to Toys-R-Us. And sometimes he wouldn’t even arrange it. We would go there, and he’d literally knock on the door, and the janitor would drop his mop, and go, “What the heck?” and let us in. And then they’d — you know, we’d go shopping basically at Toys-R-Us when the store was totally empty, because it’s the only time that he could really go shopping like that.
Q. How many times did he do that with you?
A. Oh, gosh. Like two times, three times —
Q. Did you ever have a conversation with your parents prior to the age of 13? In other words, 12 or younger. While you were 12 years of age or younger, did you ever have a conversation with either of your parents about whether or not you should be sharing a bed with Michael Jackson?
A. No. They never really saw it as an issue.
Q. Did they know that you were sleeping in his bed?
A. I assume so.
Q. You assume so?
A. I can’t tell you what they — what they knew or didn’t know or what they thought or didn’t think.
Q. Can we assume from that your parents never came into the room while you were in bed with Michael Jackson?
A. That’s not true, no. Sometimes my father would wake us up, because he liked going horseback riding or something like that and, you know, things that I didn’t necessarily enjoy as much as he did, but he would wake me up early in the morning to go horseback riding.
Q. And you would be in bed alone with Michael Jackson?
A. Not always alone, no. And sometimes I wouldn’t be always there. I would be wherever. But I knew they knew that I was in that room, and they knew I fell asleep there.
Q. Did your father say anything to Michael Jackson about him sharing a bed with his ten-year-old son? Did he say anything to Michael Jackson about that in your presence at that time?
A. No, it was a very casual thing. So, no, he never really said anything.
Q. The answer is “No”?
A. No, he never said anything.
Q. Did your mother ever come into the room when you were alone with Michael Jackson in bed?
A. It’s a possibility, yeah.
Q. Do you remember the first time that happened?
A. No, not really, not in any specific detail.
Q. Do you know if it happened more than once?
A. Yeah. He had a very open-door policy. His bedroom door at that time was never locked. Anyone could walk in, fall asleep there, I’d fall asleep anywhere. People just kind of fell asleep wherever they wanted to. That was kind of the fun of the place, was that there was no rigid rules about when or where you should fall asleep.
Q. Did you share a bed with any other 35-year-old man other than a relative during your adolescence?
A. Not that I remember, but I wasn’t really friends with a lot of 35-year-olds who actually understood me.
Q. You said that Michael Jackson understood you. What did you mean?
A. Well, because of circumstances, like with my career, I mean, one day I was essentially a normal kid who happened to be an actor, and the next thing I know, I’m just this thing where people are hiding in the bushes and trying to take your picture. And just — people are kind of out to profit from you, or next thing you know you have a million acquaintances and no more friends anymore. It was like that. And he understood that. That was one of the first things we talked about, was don’t – “I get it. I understand what you’re going through. I understand the same thing.” You know, “If you want to talk about anything or if you ever want to” — you know, I could learn from his knowledge, basically, of where he came from. And you couldn’t really find a whole lot of people, especially when you’re nine years old, put in these circumstances that nobody else — you can’t really talk to anybody about this kind of stuff. And he understood it, and it was — it was a comforting thing.
Q. Do you still talk to Mr. Jackson about the unique way child actors develop and live?
A. On occasion. It’s not like it’s, you know, a child performer self-help group or something like that. But at the same time, it was — we still talk about it, because we’re a part of a unique group of people. And so we have a unique understanding of one another. And when it goes to any person who is a child performer, I kind of keep an eye out for them, and I — because I get it. And it goes the same for anyone who, you know, was or, you know, is a child performer. I think you kind of keep an eye out. You have an understanding of them.
Q. When you say he gets it, what do you mean, specifically?
A. Well, like I said, like the photographers in the bushes, or just profiteers, people looking to — out to get you kind of thing. And he — he lived through that before. And so he understood what — what it was like to be put in a position that I was in, basically just thrust into that position. And it’s weird. It wasn’t necessarily anything I chose for myself. It was something that kind of just happened, and now I have to deal with it. And he understood that.
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson as very childlike himself?
A. He was very childlike, yes.
Q. What do you mean?
A. He liked doing the things that we liked to do. He liked playing the arcade games. Though he wasn’t as good as us, usually, but, you know, he still enjoyed doing it, because, you know, it was one of those things. And he enjoyed the same kind of movies. He liked running around. We used to play tag. I mean, it’s that kind of thing. He played with us, you know, the same kind of way I played with any of my friends my age.
Q. Did Mr. Jackson and you ever discuss the problem of sort of missing out on your childhoods because of all the work and pressures of success?
A. It was one of those things that we talked about, yeah. It just — it kind of just comes with the territory. Like I said, it’s not really, you know, it’s not really a therapy kind of thing. It’s just kind of more like occasionally we would just kind of talk about those kind of things, yes.
Q. And you talked about an open-door policy in his room.
Q. Could you please explain what you mean?
A. Well, no doors were ever really locked in his place. It wasn’t like — you know, you could always — you could always come — he always told me, “You can just come to the ranch whenever you want.” And every door was open, and you can go anywhere you wanted, and that included the bedroom.
Q. And did you feel that adults were free to come in and out as well as children?
A. Absolutely. He had a lot of memorabilia and things like that in his closets, and so people liked to look at that. It was one of those stops on the tour when we first showed up. It’s like, “Come to the bedroom. Come see what’s in the closet,” those kind of things. Like I said, it’s almost a part of the tour.
Q. What — what other shopping sprees did he take you on, if you remember?
A. I think one time when I was — I mean, besides the Toys-R-Us kind of things, that we just kind of show up in the middle of the night and scare the janitor, I think when I was about 17 or 18, he was in town with Prince, and we went to — he closed down FAO Schwartz, like, late at night, and we kind of showed up there and shopped a little there. And anywhere he shops, they kind of have to close it down for him, or we have to go late at night, just because — it just kind of comes with the territory. So I think we also went CD or DVD shopping when we were in London. He was just like, “We’re going to go shopping. Do you want to tag along?” And I went, “Sure.”
Q. And the prosecutor asked you questions about whether you felt Mr. Jackson was somehow pressuring you somehow to do something improper. Did you ever feel as if Mr. Jackson was pressuring you to do anything?
A. He never pressured me to do anything at all. Just — he was just my friend. He never really pressured me to do anything. Not even go to sleep at the right time or eat my vegetables, you know.
Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson allow other children and families into his room?
A. Yeah. It was, you know, whenever – it was — like I said, it was an open-door policy, not only for me but for whatever other families were there.
Q. And had you discussed with Mr. Jackson from time to time those false allegations?
A. Not really. It’s not something we necessarily talk about. It’s — its — you know, I think it’s just a painful subject. It was a hard thing for everyone to go through, I mean especially him. It just – it’s a hard subject.
Q. Did you ever consider making false allegations against Mr. Jackson so you could get money?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Did you ever even imagine doing such a thing?
Q. You’re telling us that Mr. Jackson had no problem with people going through the closets in his bedroom?
A. Yeah, it was one of those things. I mean, I don’t necessarily think it was a good thing to rifle through everything, but it was —
Q. But people did?
A. He had a large closet. Like I said, he had a lot of his old rhinestone jackets and things like that in there.
Q. People did that?
A. People would go in there, yes.
Q. Sometimes people he didn’t even know?
A. Well, I can’t really speak of whether or not they knew him or not. I assumed if they were there, they knew him.
Q. Certainly people who were in his room with his permission had his permission as well to go through the closets and look at the memorabilia in his closets; is that right?
A. Sure. Like I said, it was another stop on the tour. It was another kind of thing.
Q. It would be nothing unusual at all about somebody who was in his room with his permission to go through his closets and his drawers?
A. Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say the drawers. But it was kind of more — one of the closets was a lot — definitely a lot more for display than it was for, you know, actual clothing.
Q. You said he was childlike. Are you referring to his behavior back when you were 10 and 11 years old?
A. Yeah. I mean, even now, he’s more of a father now. It’s kind of fun for me to see that. But at the same time, yeah, I mean, he still has childlike qualities.
Q. Do you believe that his possession of a great deal of sexually explicit material is consistent with him being childlike?
A. How do you mean?
Q. Him possessing a lot of magazines that are very sexually explicit?
A. It depends on what you are talking about. When I was 12 or 13 years old, I had a couple of Playboys under my bed.
Q. How about magazines that depict men and women engaged in sex acts, magazines with men… Would you believe that possession of those kinds of magazines, and a number of them, would it be consistent with or inconsistent with his being childlike?
A. Well, I think — I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having those things, whether you’re childlike or not. I mean, overall, he’s still a human being, and it’s something that human beings possess. And so I don’t really necessarily find that inappropriate. But — but, yeah, I don’t find it inappropriate.
Q. But it’s surprising to you that he would be in possession of all of that; is that right?
A. Not necessarily, no.
A strict disciplinarian will naturally find it appalling that there was no proper regimen or fixed time for going to bed in Neverland and that its guests would fall asleep while watching films in Michael’s bed.
Or that they would drop asleep wherever and whenever they wanted and in their daytime clothes too. Or that they would go to the movies or shopping late at night and have a shop opened specially for them.
Or that Michael’s bedroom would actually be a common sitting room where everyone would enter any time they wanted and with its closets being open to everyone willing to rake through his belongings (which was a very reckless thing to do, in my opinion).
I’m happy that Macaulay Culkin is a guy who is really no different in his real life from the character of his “Home Alone” movies. It would be amusing to see what a child like that would have done to anyone if he had ever tried to touch him ‘inappropriately’. I am very thankful to Macaulay Culkin for his unique character, his courage to defy ‘public opinion’ and his desire to tell the truth about the innocent fun of being a guest of Michael Jackson.
Here is a great article showing what Michael’s and Culkin’s holiday was like when they were Bermuda (the one which the prosecution tried to make out as something really sinister):
A Family’s Bermuda Vacation Was Transformed by Michael Jackson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Alan Goldstein and his wife, Lynn, remember they were busy getting ready to take a nice family vacation with their youngest son, Brock, and his best pal, Mac, when they overheard Brock on the phone with Mac, saying something to the effect of yeah, sure, bring him along, too.
This is how pop superstar Michael Jackson appeared at their hotel in Bermuda with a bandage on his nose, a shy smile on his famous face, and a trunkful of squirt guns, race cars and stink bombs on his bed in the VIP suite.
Nice to meet you, the Goldsteins said, or something to that effect.
Fourteen years have passed, but like some postcard from the edge, the Goldsteins’ vacation has now come under the scrutiny of 12 strangers sitting in a California jury box.
And once again, Michael Jackson has popped into the lives of a hotel executive, his teacher wife and their son, now a 24-year-old bartender who finds it all “just so crazy.”
But what the jury in Jackson’s child molestation trial recently heard about that week in Bermuda and what the Goldsteins remember prove to be two entirely different stories: One evokes the image of a creepy predator using a gold Rolex to bait a starstruck kid; the other, of a lonely celebrity trying to reclaim a forsaken childhood by lobbing water balloons at tourists.
The surreal island idyll began when Brock Goldstein, a sometime actor in Orlando, met Macaulay Culkin on a movie set and the two 10-year-olds became fast friends. After his hit “Home Alone” was released that year, Mac Culkin made another new friend, as well: Michael Jackson.
“That sounds like fun. Mind if I tag along?” Culkin would remember Jackson saying when he mentioned the upcoming Bermuda trip with his buddy Brock.
Although prosecutors would later suggest that Jackson crashed the party, Alan Goldstein recalls that the family had been in Bermuda for a few days and had just gotten off their mopeds when the hotel relayed a message to please call “Mr. M. Jackson.”
The world’s best-selling voice came on the other line. “Well, I just need a break,” Jackson explained. “Would you mind?” Goldstein, who grew up in Wheaton, started scrambling to find suitable quarters, until Jackson called back and said he had it all arranged — two suites at the luxe Hamilton Princess. Goldstein swallowed hard.
“I can’t afford that,” he admitted.
“Don’t worry,” Jackson assured him, “everything’s on me.”
He turned up the next day in “his standard red shirt, black pants, yellow socks and wide-brim hat,” Goldstein, now 60, recalled in a telephone interview from his home in Las Vegas. Jackson invited the gang up to his suite.
“He’d brought this huge trunk. He threw it up on the bed and opened it up,” Goldstein says. “It looked like he’d raided a Toys R Us. He’s got water guns, race cars, chewing gum that made your mouth turn black, snap-and-pops . . . ”
While Lynn Goldstein mopped up behind them with Turkish towels, the two grown men and two small boys raced around the suite in a Supersoaker war.
It was great fun, the Goldstein menfolk now reminisce.
“It was a nightmare” is how Lynn good-naturedly puts it.
Jackson came to Bermuda alone, and the role of surrogate-manager fell to Lynn, who made sure the star’s meals were vegetarian and that hotel management kept away fans. Jackson’s trip made the local press, and then the international media.
For nearly two weeks, first in Bermuda and then back in Orlando at Disney World, the Goldsteins found themselves immersed in the other world of stardom with a benefactor they considered both weird and wonderful.
But with Jackson on board, dreams of sunny days on the beach disappeared, and they all became Vacationers of the Night, venturing out in the wee hours to protect Jackson and Culkin from being mobbed. That meant 2 a.m. dips in the hotel pool, room service instead of restaurants, shopping trips arranged after stores closed to the public.
Jackson tried to compensate for the inconveniences.
“We were talking one day about how it might be fun to try diving,” Alan Goldstein said, “and next thing you know, we’ve got a dive boat to ourselves with some dive masters to teach us.”
When the family wanted to see a variety show at one of the island’s resort hotels, the cast put on a private performance at 1 in the morning in an otherwise empty auditorium, the Goldsteins said. “There was a Michael Jackson impersonator, which was a little awkward, but Michael was fine with it,” says Alan Goldstein.
Brock Goldstein remembers the “once-in-your-lifetime” excitement of his favorite music star suddenly becoming a playmate. He remembers Jackson pulling out a small laser light and taking the boys out on the balcony to shine the beam down on bewildered beachgoers.
“We’d try to get them to follow it,” Brock recalls. “We’d be calling out: ‘Follow the red liiiiight, follow the red liiiight. The red light has a present for you! Look, it’s a red balloon!’ ” The three would then hurl water balloons at their targets, ducking behind the balcony to collapse in laughter.
The vacationers headed back to Orlando, where the Goldsteins then lived, and holed up in separate suites at a Disney World hotel to enjoy the theme park for a week.
Summer after summer drifted by. The Goldsteins tucked away their photo albums and lost touch with both Jackson and Culkin.
They returned from vacation this week to find a phone message from a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s investigator. What he wants they’re not sure. But their names have already become part of the court record in People v. Michael Joe Jackson .
Prosecutors — allowed under California law to introduce unproven allegations from Jackson’s past to bolster the present charge that he fondled a 13-year-old cancer survivor — cross-examined Culkin last week. Had he not slept in Michael Jackson’s bed? Had he not spent unchaperoned hours with Jackson at his Neverland ranch? And what, they wanted to know, about that trip to Bermuda? All perfectly innocent, Culkin asserts.
The prosecution team would suggest in their questions to Culkin that the Goldsteins had been wary of Jackson. Had they not confronted him about the inappropriateness of giving the child a Rolex when he greeted Culkin with one engraved “From Michael Jackson”? Culkin drew a blank.
So do the Goldsteins.
Nor do they agree with the prosecution’s portrayal of them putting their foot down over Jackson taking Mac on private side-trips in Bermuda. “That never happened,” declares Lynn Goldstein, now 61, her recollection mirroring those of her husband, her son and Culkin when he took the witness stand. Further, the Goldsteins complain, no one bothered to ask them what happened before making their vacation a footnote in a major criminal trial.
Investigators did question them back in 1993, they said, after allegations surfaced that Jackson had molested a young boy.
“They said, ‘We have a victim, we believe him, and we’re going to get [Jackson]. He fits the profile.’ I didn’t like that. I wanted to know what evidence they had,” Lynn Goldstein recalls. She told them then what she repeats today: Nothing improper ever happened, the kids slept in their own room in the Goldstein suite on a separate floor from Jackson’s, and Jackson “never once tried to get the guys alone. The boys would have sort of like sibling rivalry over his attention, and Michael’s the one who would step up and say no, we’re doing things together, with all of us.”
As a teacher at Laurel High School, and then later in Florida, Lynn Goldstein noted, she knew the warning signs of child abuse, and “I’ve even had to report it on occasion.” She felt sorry for Jackson, not frightened.
During one conversation in Bermuda, she recalled, Jackson turned to her and said wistfully: “‘You know, kids are different than adults. Kids are honest with you. You can trust them. I haven’t met an adult who has been my friend without ending up wanting something from me.’ ”
“He was like one of us,” Brock Goldstein says of Jackson, now 46, and his childlike antics in Bermuda. “It makes perfect sense to me because he never had a childhood. Obviously he’s not normal. He had a twisted upbringing.”
Like his parents, he hates the sinister questions being raised now about a fond memory. “I’d like to be done with it, but at the same time, if people are saying things we didn’t say, it needs to be cleared up,” Brock says. He figures nothing will ever top that magical summer when he hung out with the biggest pop star in the world.
“I mean, where do you go from there?” he wonders. And more to the point, who comes along?
In 2006 Macaulay Culkin wrote a book called Junior. Speaking to the reviewer David Amsden Culkin says what it’s like to be a child star and how he aged in reverse, evidently in a way similar to Michael’s:
“I have a lot of growing up to do,” he tells me at one point, before correcting himself, “or a lot of growing down. I think that’s probably more appropriate.” The stuff of his childhood—work, pressure, fame, wealth, marriage, divorce—reads like a checklist of adult milestones. Meanwhile, at an age when his peers are drifting into adulthood, he is a self-sufficient slacker enjoying a latent adolescence, not worrying about money or work or the future.
“I’m willing to face whatever comes with this, from critics, people trying to make it more sensational than it is. This is not a sensational book. There’s no Michael Jackson references at all, so get that out of your head right now.”
That’s easier said than done, given that it was less than a year ago that Culkin testified for the defense during the pop star’s molestation trial. “You know, I didn’t want to get involved with the whole thing,” he says. “It was a big, fat mess. I almost wanted to say to him, ‘You should have known better, just to even have those kind of people in your life.’
‘When they talk, Culkin always encourages Jackson to get back to music. “You know, call up the Roots, call up the Beastie Boys, call up Björk.” The last time they spoke was a few months after the trial: “He sounded better . . .” He trails off, distracted.
Evidently speaking about Michael’s state of mind after the trial he says: “One of the things that I always thought is that I could have turned out that way. I’m a fairly sheltered person, but I could have just put up a fortress around myself, bought a big chunk of land somewhere, and said, ‘Fuck all y’all!’ … It’s a cool little world that he has, but at the same time, it’s become a little more distant from reality.”
What a terrible difference it is between Michael of the 90s when he and Macauley had carefree fun like two free birds and the lifeless Michael of the year 2006 just after the trial…
But I am happy to hear that Macaulay Culkin is still standing up for Michael and fighting for his good name. Here is some information about the events this May, 2010:
“A Bahraini Islamist MP has called to ban a Michael Jackson tribute concert, labelling the King of Pop a “pimp, child abuser and a thief” whose life should not be celebrated, Gulf Daily News reported on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed has already successfully forced organisers to change the venue for the concert, but now wants it banned altogether, the newspaper said.
“Everyone knows that he is a pimp, child abuser and a thief who stole from the Bahraini royal family,” Shaikh Mohammed was quoted as saying.
Jackson lived as a virtual recluse following his 2005 acquittal on child abuse charges, and spent some time in Bahrain as a guest of Bahraini prince Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad al-Khalifa.
Jackson had been in talks with Bahrain-based record label Two Seas, owned by Sheikh Abdulla, to produce an album, but nothing ever came of the deal.
Gulf Daily News said Jackson had signed a contract with Two Seas and later lost a $7 million lawsuit brought against him by the label for breach of contract.
“Nowhere else in the world would someone be able to stand up and call someone a pimp, a child abuser and a thief without a shred of evidence and get away with it.
The fact that the accuser is a Member of Parliament is all the more deplorable.
To make such public statements without any foundation is outrageous and he should not be too surprised if he receives notification that he is being sued in the American courts for slander.
Obviously on this particular occasion the MP thinks that by making these disgraceful and cowardly accusations against the deceased Michael Jackson, he will in some way ingratiate himself with the powers that be.
I would only hope that the powers that be in Bahrain are not so easily fooled, and realize that the MP is tarnishing their own image by association, and distance themselves from him.
In case there is any doubt, charges of child abuse against Jackson were never proven.
In addition, the failure of a business deal does not permit some sycophantic publicity seeking MP to label Jackson a thief.
As for the statement that he was a pimp – on what basis is he making this statement? Maybe it’s time to put something a little less potent in the Sheesha.
As if that wasn’t enough he then goes on to say that all singers are empty and hollow. Who is this man and in what century was he raised?
Beware Bahrain – this man, and people like him, are shaping your future.
If I were you I would be afraid. Very afraid.
I wish to thank you, Macaulay Culkin.
You are a GREAT GUY and an EXCELLENT FRIEND.
* * *
Here is Larry King’s interview with Macaulay Culkin aired on May 27, 2004 (a year before his testimony at the trial).
You should really listen to Macaulay and see his amazement when King asked him “What happened at Michael’s house?” to which he replied emphatically and somewhat incredulously at the sinister tone of the question: “NOTHING happened!”.
He says Michael was often misunderstood because “he wasn’t good at explaining himself” and that he preferred the company of children because they treated him like a “normal human being”, not God or King of Pop.
And I don’t blame Macauley for his unwillingness to take part in all that circus around Michael. He is just being frank about not wanting to be dragged into all that dirt (which is quite understandable). However he did go and did testify and make a brilliant job there!
KING: What’s the relationship you had with Michael Jackson?
CULKIN: Had or have?
KING: Let’s go with had to have.
CULKIN: He’s a good friend of mine and still is. Everything that’s going on is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, and you know…
KING: When did you first get to meet him?
CULKIN: I first meet him — kind of called me randomly out of the blue, hi, it’s Michael. It’s like hey. And the thing is…
KING: This after “Home Alone.”
CULKIN: This is after “Home Alone.” I had actually met him before I was doing “Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center. I was playing Fritz, and he came back stage one day. And I actually met him very briefly and he kind of recognized me because it was after I had done “Uncle Buck.” And so, he kind of mentions something. Than he calls me up kind of out of the blue and it’s just this weird, random kind of thing. Why don’t you come over to my house?
Think is, I didn’t react to him the way most people did. Most people are like Michael Jackson, and you know, he was a god to people. And to me, I knew he was a pop singer but beyond that, I wasn’t one of the fans. I think that’s one of the reasons why we connected was the fact that — believe me, I call him a jerk all the time. I call him a fat head and this and that and he gets it.
KING: And brother (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to..
CULKIN: Yes. We all did. He was a family friend.
KING: What happened at the house? That’s what all the things that people are concerned about.
CULKIN: That’s what’s so weird.
KING: What did happen?
CULKIN: NOTHING happened. You know, nothing really. I mean, we played video games. We, you know, played at his amusement park.
KING: Did he sleep in the bed?
CULKIN: The thing is with that whole thing, oh, you slept in the same bedroom as him. It’s like, I don’t think you understand, Michael Jackson’s bedroom is two stories and it has like three bathrooms and this and that. So, when I slept in his bedroom, yes, but you understand the whole scenario. And the thing is with Michael he’s not good as explaining himself and he never really has been, because he’s not a very social person. You’re talking about someone who has been sheltered and sheltering himself also for the last like 30 years. And so, he’s not very good at communicating to people and not good at conveying what he’s actually trying to say to you. So, when he says something like that people — he doesn’t quite understand why people react the way that they do.
KING: Why do you think he likes young people so much?
CULKIN: Because the same reason why he liked me, was the fact that I didn’t care who he was. That was the thing. I talked to him like he was a normal human being and kids do that to him because he’s Michael Jackson the pop singer, but he’s not the God, the “king of pop” or anything like that. He’s just a guy who is actually very kid-like himself and wants to go out there and wants to play video games with you.
KING: Did your parents encourage it?
CULKIN: They weren’t against it. It wasn’t like they encouraged it or pushing me upon it. I wanted to hang out with him and they were fine.
KING: What do you make of what he’s going through now?
CULKIN: Like I said, it’s unfortunate, and you know, it’s a circus.
KING: Do you think it’s a bad rap?
CULKIN: You know, I think so. Yes. Listen, look what happened the first time this happened to him. If someone had done something like that to my kid, I wouldn’t settle for some money. I’d make sure the guy was in jail. It just really goes to show as soon as they got the money and they ran. I mean, that’s what really what happened the first time. And so I don’t know. It’s a little crazy and I kind of have taken a step back from the whole thing, because it is a bit of a circus. And you know, if the same thing was happening to me, I wouldn’t want to drag him into it and vice versa. So I try my best to take a distance from it, but like I said he was still a friend of mine.
KING: If they asked you to be a character witness, would you appear?
CULKIN: I guess so, but probably not. Like I said, it’s crazy, and I don’t really want to be a part of it.
KING: You like him.
CULKIN: I like him and he’s a friend of mine. I’m not saying I wouldn’t. It hasn’t been brought up to me and I don’t think he’d want me to either. Just because, like I said, if the same thing was happening to me…
KING: What reaction has happened to you from all of this?
CULKIN: What do you mean?
KING: Do people inquire of you a lot about it?
CULKIN: Sometimes. You know, people always have their opinions. It’s funny. People always talk to me about him, because you know, I’m one of these people who will tell you anything about my life, really, to get me going. You know, so yes, I mean, I’ve openly and freely talked about him and stuff like that. But overall, you know, s’ just a good friend of mine.
KING: You wish him well.
CULKIN: Of course I do.
Full transcript: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0405/27/lkl.00.html