Macaulay Culkin isn't home alone today.
He's in Los Angeles, waiting for word from his lawyer and other advisers who will tell him if he's going to Santa Maria to help Michael Jackson.
Culkin, who's denied publicly in the past that anything inappropriate ever happened between himself and Jackson, is clearly ready to testify in Jackson's child molestation case. But rumors that buzzed around the courthouse late last week that he would appear Monday are untrue, according to my sources.
"The details are still being worked out," says a source, "whether he's coming at all."
Culkin is in a bind regarding this case. His father, Kit Culkin, has already told this column that nothing untoward ever occurred.
If Macaulay, now 24, affirms what his father claims, he'll essentially be agreeing with a man whom he's publicly denounced for the last few years.
On the other hand, Macaulay has not only refuted a story told by a former Jackson employee, but has already come to Jackson's defense.
Back in September 2001, Macaulay made a big deal of coming to Jackson's shows at Madison Square Garden and sitting with the singer's family in its private box.
If actions speak louder than words, then that was young Culkin's implicit way of telling the world he remained in the weakened pop star's corner.
Compounding all of this, of course, is that Culkin still has an acting career and intends to keep it.
He recently signed with the foundering William Morris Agency and has a high-powered manager in Emily Gerson Saines and an equally high-charged publicist in Paul Bloch of Rogers and Cowan.
All of those people are weighing in today on Culkin's position in the trial.
Paula Abdul's latest scandal, about her alleged affair with an "American Idol" contestant, isn't her first, you know.
Abdul successfully fended off a 1993 lawsuit from backup singer and former Mary Jane Girl Yvette Marine, who claimed that it was her voice, not Paula's, that made Abdul's chief hit, "Straight Up."
The lip-synching lawsuit brought with it a lot of potential trouble. For example, private investigator Paul Barresi recently came across a 1993 conversation about Abdul in the huge cache of tape recordings made by deceased tabloid reporter Jim Mitteager.
On one of the tapes, a former college friend of Abdul who'd made a deal with the National Enquirer to tattle on her about other subjects suddenly got a pang of guilt and pulled out of his contract.
If only failed "Idol" Corey Clark had felt the same way. His efforts to denigrate Abdul on TV last week seemed painfully sad and motivated by greed.
The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown (you must call him Mr. Brown when in his presence), now weighs in at 600 pounds.
No, Mr. Brown has not had one too many meals on the road.
But on Friday, he was honored in Augusta, Ga., with a 7-foot statue, which was unveiled in the center of town.
Yes, the press release says it was "life-size," but we'll let that bit of hyperbole stand.
The occasion was Mr. Brown's 72nd birthday. And despite his many incarcerations and various marital mishaps, the legendary performer and singer of "I Feel Good" and "It's a Man's World" was there for the unveiling.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, Brown's former manager and protégé, was on hand for the dedication ceremony and agreed with the decision to honor his friend.
According to the Augusta Chronicle, Sharpton told the large crowd that came to the $40,000 statue's unveiling: "People can now come to Augusta, Georgia, and look at a statue of a man who used to shine shoes on this street. A man who had to dance for nickels."
Mr. Brown was joined on stage to accept his award by the equally legendary Bobby Byrd and a local singer named Tony Howard.
In keeping with the psychedelic nature of this event, according to the Chronicle, the song they chose to perform was "Sex Machine."