Macaulay Culkin has leaped to the defence of his friend Michael Jackson, insisting the pop superstar is only involved in a child molestation scandal because he's a poor communicator.

The HOME ALONE star is sure his pal is innocent of all charges currently levelled against him, and feels Jackson wouldn't have landed in trouble in the first place if he was better at conveying "what he's actually trying to say to people".

Culkin, who grew up playing with the King Of Pop and sleeping over at his Neverland home, insists his friend has been vilified because he has failed to explain exactly what he means when he says he allows children to sleep with him in his bedroom.

The former child star says, "They go, 'Oh, you slept in the same bedroom as him.' I don't think they understand - Michael Jackson's bedroom is two storeys and it has three bathrooms.

"The thing is, with Michael, is that he's not very good at explaining himself and he never really has been, because he's not a very social person. He doesn't quite understand why people react the way that they do."

Culkin also thinks Jackson's critics have made too much of his fondness for children

He adds, "It's the same reason why he liked me - it's because the fact 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.

"He's Michael Jackson, the pop singer but he's not the King of Pop or anything like that. He's just a guy who's actually very kid-like himself."

30/05/2004 10:26