Shortly after he stopped making movies at age 14, Culkin’s parents separated. The bitter custody battle that followed meant that his father could no longer control his career, but kept Culkin and his family in the headlines. The actor’s mother claimed his father was physically and emotionally abusive, charges his father vigorously denied.
Shortly after Kit Culkin decided to drop the custody battle, he disappeared. Culkin says he had not heard from his father in years, until the opening of Madame Melville when he received a telegram from him. He says he remains unsure if he would like to see him again.
At 17, Culkin burst into the headlines again with the news of his marriage to a high school classmate and 17-year-old actress Rachel Miner. After two years of marriage, they announced their separation in early 2000. Culkin admits his reclusive tendencies had a negative impact on their relationship. “I had to learn to talk and how to communicate,” he says, “and I should’ve done it more.”
As he and his wife consider their future, Culkin says he’s fighting the urge to stay inside, even though he still feels uncomfortable dealing with fans. Although he is now 20, to many he still remains the little boy in the movies, a fact he says he has come to accept.
With the rebirth of his career, the lessons learned through his family and in his marriage, Culkin says he’s ready to take on life — on his own terms. “I’m trying to be the best person I can be,” he says. “I have my family, I have my friends, I have basically everything I need in life right now.”