“Macaulay Culkin’s Journey: From Child Star to Struggles with Drug Use Amidst Divorce from Parents”

Home Alone legend Macaulay Culkin’s decision to divorce his parents and protect his fortune at the tender age of 15 sparked a huge media storm around the successful child actor

Macaulay Culkin holds the mantle of one of the most successful child actors of all time, but he’s also renowned for having one of the biggest falls from grace in showbiz ever.

From drug abuse, legal meltdowns and an arrest, Macaulay, who is best known as Kevin McCallister in the iconic Christmas film Home Alone and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, went through a torrid time after soaring to fame aged ten.

Despite turning his back on Hollywood, Macaulay’s angelic childhood self immortalised in Home Alone resurfaces every Christmas with fans rewatching the festive favourite – making the actor’s descent appear even darker.

In 2004 a 24-year-old Macaulay’s mugshot made headlines around the world when he was charged with possessing marijuana and a controlled substance without a prescription after having his car searched by police officers in Oklahoma.

Then as rumours continued to spiral about his drug habit, snaps of Macaulay looking gaunt and frail and clutching an energy drink shocked fans in 2012.

“No I was not pounding six grand of heroin a month,” the actor later insisted in an interview with The Guardian.


Macaulay Culkin shocked fans with his weight loss when he was papped looking frail in 2012 ( Image: INF)

Macaulay Culkin child star in Home Alone
Macaulay rose to fame as a child star in Home Alone ( Image: Rex)

Speaking about recreational drug use in a rare interview in 2021, Macaualy told Esquire : “I do love them. They’re like old friends. But sometimes you outgrow your friends.” Before Macaulay’s troubles started, he decided he’d outgrown his parents.

At the age of 15, Macaulay took the explosive step to formally emancipate himself by removing his mum and dad as his legal guardians. It was reported the teen wanted to keep his hands solely on the £13million fortune he’d amassed from his movie stardom and to stop his parents from controlling his cash in the future.

Back in the 90s, Macaulay rocketed to fame as the adorable wide eyed and blonde haired boy from hit family films such as Uncle Buck, my Girl, Richie Rich and of course the Home Alone franchise. When Macaulay hit the big time, his father Kit quit his day job to oversee Macaulay’s film career along with wife Patricia.

With the youngster commanding a whopping £6million a movie, Kit and Patricia were said to be pocketing 15% of their son’s pay cheques every time. Opening up about the process of cutting ties with his parents, Macualay reflected that the situation ‘sucked’ but ‘could have been worse.’


The Culkin family – mum Patricia, dad Kit and sons Macaulay and Kieron ( Image: Copyright unknown)

Macaulay Culkin in a police mugshot after being arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a prescription ( Image: Splash)

“I legally took my parents’ names off of my trust fund and found an executor, someone who would look over my finances, just in case anyone wanted to stick their f*****g pinkie in the pie,” he told Esquire. “But the next thing you know, the story was that I divorced my parents.

“I just thought I was doing it cleanly – taking my father’s name off, taking my mom’s name off, so my opinion is unbiased. And when I did that, the whole thing kinda ended a lot faster.”

He went on: “Look, I mean, it sucks. But, it coulda been worse, you know? I wasn’t working in a coal mine. I wasn’t a child soldier. My father was not sexually abusing me. ‘Certain f***ed up things happened, but f****d up things happen to kids all the time and they don’t come out the other end. I’ve got something to show for it, man. I mean, look at me: I got money, I got fame, I got a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful house and beautiful animals.”

After cleaning up his act, Macaulay, remains a pop culture icon verging between parodying his old projects and dipping his toes into new ones. Last Christmas, he reprised his Home Alone role by playing an adult Kelvin McAllister for a tongue in cheek Google Assistant advert.

In recent years he has also founded rock band The Pizza Underground ( a Velvet Underground tribute act), starred in a number of indie movies and launched his own lifestyle website Bunny Ears. Macaulay has also found love with fellow former child star Brenda Song, who has appeared in many Disney Channel sitcoms.


Macaulay resh faced and in good spirits in 2017 – five years after shocking fans with his gaunt appearance ( Image: SPW / Splash News)


Macaulay is in a happy relationship with fellow former child star Brenda Song ( Image: Getty Images for Stand Up To Cancer)

After meeting in Thailand, the pair found an instant connection but Macaulay admitted he spent a long time waiting for something to wrong. “I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.” After a while, he realised, “No—sometimes it’s just good,” he told Esquire.

While Brenda said of her beau: “You can’t be around him and not be happy.” The pair welcomed their first child together last year, a son Dakota Song Culkin.

Dakota was named in honour of Macaulay’s sister who tragically died in 2008. Dakota, affectionately known as ‘Cody,’ was killed after she was struck by a car while crossing the road at the age of 29.

In December, 2023, Macaulay paid tribute to Brenda after being awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. In his speech he praised the support of his loving wife and their two young children.

He said: “I’d like to thank Brenda. You’re absolutely everything. You’re my champion. You’re the only person happier for me today than I am. You’re not only the best woman I’ve ever known, you’re the best person I’ve ever known.”

“You’ve given me just all my purpose, you’ve given me family. After the birth of our two boys, you’ve become my three favourite people. I love you so much.”

He concluded his speech with the iconic line from Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, wishing the crowd: “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.”

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