Macaulay Culkin Won't Testify in Jacko Case

Michael Jackson | Cy Coleman | National Board of Review

Culkin Will Refuse to Testify in Jacko Case

Macaulay Culkin has not been subpoenaed in the Michael Jackson case, and he's not going to testify in it either.

That's what I've been told by those who know exactly what's happening with the "Home Alone" star. More on that in a minute.

Let's say that news reports from yesterday are correct and prosecutors in the Michael Jackson case are interested in the following seven young men and their relationships with the pop star from about 10 or 12 years ago.

A news Web site lists a "famous child actor who denies anything sexual happened between him and Jackson; a son of a former Jackson employee; a friend of the Jackson family; a boy — now a young adult — who wrote a fan letter to Jackson in the early 1990s and became friends with him; a boy who met Jackson during the filming of a commercial and an Australian who now works in Hollywood."

There's nothing like being coy, right? The Australian working in Hollywood is boy-band choreographer Wade Robson. The son of a former employee is the child of Jackson's ex-maid Blanca Flores. The child star who says nothing inappropriate ever happened between him and Jackson is Culkin.

And then there's the boy who met him during the filming of the commercial; that would be Jimmy Safechuck, who has been written about in many articles and in this column. He met Jackson during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in the 1980s and stayed close to him for a while before receiving a cash gift.

I don't know who wrote Jackson the fan letter, but it's almost irrelevant.

If, of all the boys who passed through Neverland, this is whom Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon wants to talk to, Michael Jackson has nothing to worry about.

No matter what Sneddon does, or what laws he invokes, Macaulay Culkin is not coming to his courtroom. My sources tell me that Culkin's representatives will make sure of that.

Despite reports in the British tabloids, Culkin — a Michael Jackson friend to this day — is not going to testify in his behalf. Nor is he going to testify against Jackson. Culkin, apart from all the others, has the financial resources to successfully block such an occurrence.

Reading the report made me laugh, because those who know the history — or should I say HIStory? — of the Jackson case have lots of other kids' names on our lists. Any one of them would be more damaging than those from this gang.

Sneddon seems to not have much of a case with the current kid, so his plan is to bolster it with the gossip about other cases that never came to fruition. But he's not going to get very far with Culkin or Safechuck. Additionally, the young man who got a large payout from the 1993 child-molestation case now also has the financial resources to block testimony.

What's Sneddon going to do? Jail all these kids for contempt of court?

Sneddon probably doesn't read this column, or he would know that since 1996, a young man from Norway named Omer Bhatti has been living intermittently at Neverland.

I reported here exclusively that Jackson told friends that Bhatti, now 20, was his biological son. He's not, and it's certainly more than a little odd that Bhatti spent his formative years going back and forth to Neverland.

There are others too. But Sneddon — looking for past malfeasance by Jackson — is so far looking up dead ends.

Cy Coleman's Show-Stopping Sendoff

West 44th Street was lined with people, stretching from Seventh Avenue past Shubert Alley, around 11 a.m. yesterday.

All of them wanted to get into the free memorial service for Cy Coleman, the legendary Broadway composer of shows like "Sweet Charity," "Barnum," "Will Rogers Follies," "The Life" and "City of Angels" who died suddenly last month at age 75.

Most of the people wanted to get into the Majestic Theatre did, and it was packed from the front row of the orchestra to the back of the balcony.

Of course, this wasn't the usual memorial service. It was really quite a professional two-hour musical revue featuring some of Broadway's biggest stars, including, in no particular order: Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera, Michele Lee, playwright Neil Simon, James Naughton, Lucie Arnaz, Lillias White, Brian Stokes Mitchell, writer A.E. Hotchner, Jim Dale, John Schneider, Bea Arthur and Wendy Wasserstein.

The only stars scheduled to attend who didn't were Tony Bennett and Shirley MacLaine.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers put on the event because, let's face it, over the years Coleman's hit songs, such as "Hey Look Me Over," "Big Spender," "If They Could See Me Now," "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet to Come" made the music-licensing agencies a lot of money. Of course, everyone in town loved Coleman as well.

Some of the stars in the audience included Lauren Bacall, Arthur Miller, Elaine Kaufman, Lawrence Luckinbill, Marian Seldes, Tony Walton and famed lyricist Betty Comden. Even Rex Reed was there.

Sylvia Miles told me how she introduced Cy, her boyfriend at the time, to Elaine Kaufman at her restaurant back in the '60s.

After the deaths of Tony Randall, Alan King and Adolph Green in the last 18 months, it really felt like the end of an era. There won't be such tributes for the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber or Frank Wildhorn, I'm afraid.

There wasn't a lot of crying, thank God, just a straightforward, show-stopping sendoff with such good production values — save an iffy mike — that it's a shame the whole thing wasn't taped for PBS.

The musical numbers were really spectacular. I do think Michele Lee stole the show with the big finale from "See Saw," for which she received a Tony Award nomination years ago. This may come as a shock if you only know her from "Knots Landing."

Lillias White was pretty spectacular herself, with her Tony number from "The Life;" John Schneider showed he kept up his lasso skills and his baritone from "Will Rogers Follies" and Reinking and Rivera even replicated Bob Fosse's choreography with a dance troupe for a killer version of "Big Spender."

There were a lot of testimonials, of course, and it was very good to see Neil Simon, who attended with his amiable wife, Elaine Joyce, looking healthy and robust.

But I liked what Larry Gelbart said about Coleman in a message read by ASCAP president and songwriter Marilyn Bergman: "He knew how to turn a song into a party."

National Board: Same Time, This Year

I've skipped my annual investigation into the semi-ridiculous National Board of Fans, er, Review this year. That doesn't mean anything's changed.

When the group meets tonight at Tavern on the Green, it will be the same old story: They're going to pass awards around to every studio and collect high fees for the seats at their dinner — $250 from civilians.

The NBR liked "Finding Neverland" best this year, which is fine, but by the time you read through their lists of honorable mentions, nearly every movie that made this year's list that wasn't totally objectionable got something.

The group forced out Lois Ballon, but the rest of the cabal is still there, including former Tavern on the Green banquet manager Bob Policastro and Ballon's ex-aide de camp Carol Rapoport.

The other members, some of whom are featured on the group's Web site, are eccentric, elderly and generally not with portfolio. But that would also describe the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the people who vote on the Golden Globes. More on them tomorrow.