When former Smallville star Rosenbaum brought up the age difference between the two – Jackson was born nearly 22 years before Culkin – the former child star explained his life experiences isolated him from other kids.
“I was a peerless person,” he said. “Nobody else in my Catholic school even had this… idea of what I was going through, and he was the kind of person who’d been through the exact same freakin’ thing and wanted to make sure I wasn’t alone in that.
“He reached out to me ’cause a lot of things were happening big and fast with me,” Culkin said, deeming Jackson’s efforts protective. “I think he identified with that.”
Culkin said he was “thoroughly unimpressed” by celebrities and believes that’s one of the things Jackson liked about him.
“I think that’s one of the reasons also why we got along, is that everyone’s always thoroughly impressed by him,” he said. “So the fact that somebody treated him like a normal person… It was that simple.”
Remembering his friend, the Richie Rich star called him “awesome” and said the two would prank call people.
“He was hilarious; he was sweet,” Culkin shared. “People don’t know how funny he (expletive) was.”
Culkin is now the godfather of Jackson’s only daughter, Paris.
He previously spoke out about their friendship at the King of Pop’s 2005 child molestation trial. Culkin said at the time he was never molested by the singer, though he said they shared a bed. Jackson was acquitted on felony and misdemeanor charges.
Jackson was also accused of molesting a child in 1993, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement from the Billie Jean singer.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 at age 50.
A new documentary called Leaving Neverland – featuring interviews with a pair of men, including Australian choreographer Wade Robson, who alleged Jackson sexually abused them – is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25 and air on US network HBO later this year.
USA Today, with staff writers