LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA - "Maybe now everyone will remember the man for his achievements and legacy he's left behind, rather than his faults and his allegations," said Macaulay Carson Culkin, of his close friend and "undercover lover" Michael Jackson's passing.
A child molestation accusation came out in 1993 by Jordan Chandler against Michael Jackson. Long-time child actor Macaulay Carson Culkin (born August 26, 1980) had taken the stand to testify on Jackson's behalf. Culkin acknowledged sleeping in Jackson's bed a dozen or more times between the ages of 9 and 14, but insisted nothing of a sexual nature happened between the two. "I've fallen asleep in the same bed with him," Culkin said. "I'd just flop down." Culkin was asked whether the entertainer could have fondled him while he was sleeping. "As far as I know, he's never molested me," Culkin testified. "I find that unlikely." In a follow-up, Culkin was asked if he had ever slept with any other 35-year-old men. "Not that I remember," the actor testified, "but I wasn't really friends with a lot of 35-year-olds who actually understood me."
On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandler family and their legal team out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. After the settlement Jordan Chandler refused to continue with Police criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.
'YOU ARE NOT ALONE'
A smile comes over Culkin's face as he reflects back upon Michael and his time together.
"Once, on top the Ferris wheel, Michael had told me about a time when he felt so alone, so out of touch with the world that he would sit in his HBC [Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber] for hours a day and just cry.
"People that aren't rich and famous don't understand what a struggle it is to be successful, happy, and survive all at the same time, without allegations that would put you in an unfavorable light." Culkin drops his head and mutters "You are not alone Michael, you know everyone mocks and pokes their fingers at Michael, but the reason he had began taking painkillers, [Valium, Xanax and Ativan] was to deal with the stress, of the prior sexual allegations, rehashing of childhood memories, not to mention the STRESS of the media, sheesh, could you really blame him?"
'YOUR MEMORY SHALL NEVER PASS, MAY YOUR DREAMS LIVE FOREVER'
Last year Jackson faced foreclosure on Neverland, the 2,500-acre (1,012-hectare) property nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara County's wine country, 120 miles (193 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. He was bailed out by Colony Capital, and months later transferred the deed to Neverland to Culkin, per Jackson's request.
"We had so many plans for this majestic ranch." Culkin pauses for a moment with a gulp then lowers his head and continues. "so many plans plans which will encourage more children to be open and aware of what life could bring them if they really believed in themselves."
Within the next two years, Culkin plans on converting the Neverland Ranch into a "haven" for "Children with Broken Dreams," a non-profit organization, which helps teach and protect endangered and exploited children.
"Many of these children have been bounced from foster care system to foster care system and have no real conception of what "home" really is."
"Children with Broken Dreams" spokesperson Faith Wallace explains, "Since Michael was a boy he worked hard to get what he's gotten in life. He believed that there was something he could do to "change the world," since our children are our future, why not start with them?"
Michael had begun the conversion of the Ranch in 1984, but the renovations were put on hold when Jackson was told that he was suffering from alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic condition that affects the lungs and liver. Jackson needed a lung transplant and was bleeding in the intestines. Jackson claimed that he couldn't see out of his left eye and was so winded that he could barely speak most of the time.
Culkin vows to turn Michael's dreams into reality and to keep the conversion going on and make the changes that were spoken about back in 1984.
"It's the least I can do for a legend, mentor, and the love of my life Michael Jackson," Culkin's eyes fills with tears as he continues, "Mike, your memory shall never pass, and your dreams shall live forever, I promise you this."