[b]Actor Macaulay Culkin Testifies Jackson Did Not Molest Him[/b] POSTED: 8:15 am PDT May 11, 2005 UPDATED: 11:35 am PDT May 11, 2005 SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Actor Macaulay Culkin calmly and confidently testified Wednesday that he was never molested by Michael Jackson and told jurors that he and the pop star have a bond based on the shared experience of being children thrust into stardom. The 24-year-old star of the “Home Alone” movies was the third young man to testify at Jackson’s child molestation trial that as boys they slept with the adult Jackson at his Neverland ranch and were neither molested nor inappropriately touched, as prosecution witnesses have alleged. “Do you have reason to believe Mr. Jackson molested you at any time,” defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked. [b]”Not at all,” said Culkin, who entered court through a back way but later left through the front door, his hands clasped behind his back except when he tried to tame his wind-blown hair. Culkin testified that he and Jackson were drawn together by their common experience as child performers, although he laughingly noted that “it was not like a child actors’ self-help group.” “Anyone who was a child performer,” he said, “we keep an eye out for each other.”[/b]Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, giving him wine and conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who told an interviewer he let children sleep in his bed but it was innocent. Culkin became part of the case when prosecutors were allowed to present testimony about Jackson’s past to suggest he has a pattern of abusing boys. The testimony included an ex-chef who said he saw Jackson with a hand up Culkin’s shorts as Jackson held the boy up to a video game. Culkin, wearing a suit with an open-neck shirt, appeared relaxed and answered questions directly during his testimony, which lasted less than 90 minutes. Several times during cross-examination, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen cut off his answers, drawing an admonishment from Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville. Culkin testified that he was 9 or 10 years old when he met Jackson and that he slept in Jackson’s bed several times between the ages of 10 and 14, sometimes with other boys as well. [b]He said the sleepovers weren’t planned and that he and others would just fall asleep when they were tired.[/b] Zonen suggested he could have been molested while he was asleep. “I find that unlikely,” Culkin said. “I think I’d realize that something like that was happening to me.” Under questioning by Mesereau, Culkin also denied that Jackson would try to manipulate him with gifts so that the pop star could later touch Culkin. [b]Asked if Jackson ever pressured him, Culkin said, “He never pressured me to do anything at all. He was just my friend. He never pressured me to go to sleep at a particular time or to eat my vegetables.”[/b] He testified that his life changed after he starred in “Home Alone” and spoke of “photographers in the bushes and profiteers — people out to get you. It was something that just happened.” [b]Culkin said he and Jackson often talked about missing out on their childhoods. “It wasn’t like therapy,” he said, “but we talked about how these kind of things happen.” Culkin also spoke of Jackson leading an insular life and how he would have to go shopping in stores after hours.[/b] The young actor called the charges against Jackson “absolutely ridiculous” and said he only learned of the allegations made about him when someone told him he should watch CNN. “It was amazing to me that nobody even approached me and asked if these allegations were true,” he said. On cross-examination, Zonen asked Culkin if prosecutors had tried repeatedly to contact him but had been rebuffed. “Not that I know of, no,” Culkin said. Prosecutors seized on Culkin comments in which he described Jackson as childlike and about how guests in Jackson’s room were free to look at memorabilia. The prosecution has shown the jury dozens of sexually explicit magazines found in his room during a November 2003 search, and have alleged that Jackson showed the material to his accuser and the boy’s brother. [b]Asked if he thought it was childlike to have such material, Culkin said, “When I was 12 or 13 years old I had a couple of Playboys under my bed.” When Zonen described the content of the magazines and asked if they were childlike, Culkin said, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having those things.”[/b] Culkin himself faces a court hearing next month on two misdemeanor drug counts in Oklahoma City. He was arrested Sept. 17, 2004, after police alleged found more than a half-ounce of marijuana and several tablets of the prescription medication Xanax in a car in which he was a passenger. Culkin has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on $4,000 bail. [b]In another trial development, Jackson’s lawyers announced they would play a video made by Jackson’s videographer during the making of the “Living With Michael Jackson” documentary. The defense contends that outtakes will show that much of what ended up in the documentary was taken out of context. The judge agreed to allow the entire two-hour, 40-minute tape to be played despite prosecution assertions that the defense only be allowed to show material that it claims would correct misleading information in the documentary.[/b] Source: [url=http://www.nbcsandiego.com/entertainment/4476056/detail.html?rss=dgo&psp=news]http://www.nbcsandiego.com/entertainment/4…ss=dgo&psp=news[/url]

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