Macaulay Culkin was a beloved child actor who starred in movies such as “Home Alone,” “Uncle Buck,” and “Richie Rich.”
Yet despite a very successful nine years in the business, the Blast reports, Culkin walked away from movies and Hollywood at the age of 14. The following year, his parents, Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, separated and the then-teenager requested to be emancipated from them.
The judged granted Culkin’s request and awarded him full access to his multi-million dollar fortune.
He opened up about his decision to seek emancipation with Marc Maron, comedian and the host of the “WTF Podcast”:
“After I did Richie Rich, my father and my mother finally called it quits which was one of the best things that ever happened [because] I was able to actually walk away from the business. I’d been wanting to take a break for a while and eventually I was like ‘I’m done guys, hope you all made your money because there is no more coming from me.’”
He told Maron that while he wasn’t afraid to walk away from Hollywood, he was scared to make that decision knowing what could come from the hands of his abusive father.
Culkin explained that he disliked his father, who was also a former child actor before becoming Culkin’s manager, and Kit also disliked him:
“We didn’t like each other. Now imagine this man who you dislike and who dislikes you, I become the sole focus of him when I start earning. So now all of the sudden I’m going around the country locked in a room with a guy who doesn’t like me and he was kind of even relatively jealous. Everything that he tried to do in his life, I excelled at before I was 10 years old.
He was a bad man like honestly, he was just a bad man. He was abusive, physically and mentally. I could show you all my scars if you wanted me to.”
The now 37-year-old went on to explain that he wasn’t just abusive towards him, but also towards his six siblings. However, because Culkin was with Kit all of the time for work, he caught the brunt of the abuse.Macaulay Culkin/Instagram
Twenty years after Culkin requested his parents be stripped of their rights to him, Kit—whom the Telegraph once referred to a “father from hell”—told Daily Mail in 2016 that Culkin was nothing to him:
“I don’t consider him a son anymore.”
After retiring at the age of 14, Culkin found himself back in Hollywood, taking on random film roles and leading the comedy-rock band known as “The Pizza Underground” (though he’s recently disbanded the group).
The actor told Maron that he’s managed to live a fun and fruitful life— despite his troubled past.
You can listen to the full interview on Maron’s website.