Ex Clergyman, Macaulay Culkin’s Dad Disowned Him — They Didn’t Reunite Even When One of His 7 Kids Tragically Died

Macaulay Culkin was a famous child actor and is the star behind the hit franchise “Home Alone.” However, the behind-the-scenes of his time on screen was not as glamorous as it looked. It ended up with Culkin and his father Kit not speaking to each other and Kit writing him off as his son.

Macaulay Culkin is famously known for his child acting days in the highly celebrated holiday film franchise, “Home Alone.” However, in the following years, the dark side of his childhood fame and success and its effects on his family made it to the media.

Everything from the financial aspect to the custody battle and court blow-up was exposed, incliuding the sad part about Culkin’s broken relationship with his father.

Macaulay Culkin in Hollywood in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin in Hollywood in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Culkin opened up about some of the struggles of working from a young age. He remembered times when his mother would pick him up from school and tell him not to make plans for the summer because he would be working, only to find out that the possibility of him not working was not even an option because his parents would have already signed a contract on his behalf.

Culkin’s parents, Kit and Patricia Brentrup, lived in North Dakota for a while before settling in New York. They had seven children—five boys and two girls.
Macaulay Culkin's mother Patricia Brentrup in New York in 1997 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin’s mother Patricia Brentrup in New York in 1997 | Source: Getty Images

According to reports, Kit had aspirations of being an actor. He appeared in a small part on Broadway, but the dream never took off enough to become a reality.

From there, he worked as a taxi driver and was a sacristan at a local church in New York. But Culkin said he gave him a “tainted view” of religion and referred to his father as a “puppeteer” because he thought he was there to use church hosts.

While he had to find other ways to make money, he allegedly always hoped to get the Culkin children into the acting industry. So when he realized Culkin’s talent, he took on a new job as his manager, but the experience made Culkin feel trapped.

Macaulay Culkin and his father Kit in Hollywood in 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin and his father Kit in Hollywood in 1993 | Source: Getty Images

The “Home Alone” star confessed that he did about 14 movies a year, but never did he get a sense of what the making of a film felt like. He had never read a script. Instead, his father would go through the lines with him the night before and tell him what he needed to do.

Culkin would go to set, act out his part and go home. After doing that for a long time, the actor said he stopped caring and wanted to quit acting since he was eleven.

Macaulay Culkin on set in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin on set in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Unfortunately, the dynamic of having his father as manager caused a drift between Culkin and Kit. The “My Girl” star revealed that people who knew his father appreciated his management style but they would have hated having him as a parent.

Therefore, the actor and his father have not been in contact in years. But Culkin believes they both needed the space to reflect on everything that happened between them.

Despite the disruption in the family, the actor expressed that they were a close family. They spent much time together in their New York apartment, which he described as “an apartment that was basically a hallway set with doorways but with no doors.”

Macaulay Culkin in Hollywood in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin in Hollywood in 1991 | Source: Getty Images

Culkin and his siblings slept on bunk beds and lived in that apartment for two years after having money. While living there, Culkin was signed up with Ensemble Studio Theatre, a respected company, and got to be enrolled in classical ballet.

In addition to family drama and the court dispute, the Culkin kids found out that all these years, Kit and Brentrup were never legally married.

The Custody Battle That Had Macaulay Culkin “Divorcing” His Parents

When the separation between his parents was ongoing, the biggest battle was custody which went on for two years. It mainly revolved around Culkin’s fortune, estimated between $15 to $20 million then.

Macaulay Culkin in New York in 1996 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin in New York in 1996 | Source: Getty Images

The actor explained that he and his siblings did not want to live with their father, and he wanted his parents to no longer be responsible for his money. But that separation was turned into him “divorcing” his father when it was actually a quick process of removing his parents from his trust.

Culkin said he found someone more legible to look after his funds, but the media blew his decision out of proportion.

However, the decision to take control of his finances, in addition to the tension between Culkin and his father from childhood, did not make things better for their relationship.

Macaulay Culkin in New York in 1998 | Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin in New York in 1998 | Source: Getty Images

In fact, Culkin said Kit was jealous of his success because he was able to achieve the goals his father longed for before he was ten years old.

After the family was broken, they were met with another painful tragedy. One of the Culkin children, Dakota, who they called Cody, died in a car accident.

Dakota was hit by a car crossing the road. She was 30, and her death broke Culkin. In an interview with the Hollywood reporter, Kieran, Culkin’s brother, who also started out as a child actor, gushed over how funny she was and all the acting aspirations she had for herself.

Kieran admitted that Dakota’s death was the worst thing ever to their close family. He thought the pain would get better as time went on, but 15 years later, it still hurt.

He said he finds himself crying out of nowhere and thinking that the he last spoke to his sister was 15 years ago, not to mention the thought of never getting a chance to see her again.

The actor also said he has not been to church since Dakota’s funeral, but he still cannot believe that a random trip for Gatorade and cigarettes took his sister away forever.

What is even more gutwrenching is that Dakota will never get to see his children, which is still a feeling that is not easy for him to comprehend.

Brother Kieran Saw Their Father after 17 Years

Like Caulkin, his brother Kieran is still not willing to put energy into his relationship with their father. In 2017, when he was performing on Broadway in “The is Our Truth,” his brother Shane told him Kit was traveling from Oregon to see him perform.

Kit had just suffered a stroke that affected his speech, and Kieran said he walked around with cards that read, “I am not stupid. I understand you. I just had a stroke.”

Kit even spoke about his relationship and that his girlfriend had Alzheimer’s, which made them quite the unique pair. However, after seeing his father 17 years later and seeing him struck by a stroke, Kieran still felt nothing. When asked how he felt, he said, “I don’t care.”

Kit’s stroke also affected his right hand, and as a writer, he has not been able to use it. In fact, his stepdaughter Thalia Baker Fuchs said it has been hard on him.

Thalia also revealed that Kit longed for a reconciliation with his six children, whom he had not been in touch with after he divorced their mother.

She disclosed that Kit tried to reconnect with his kids by watching their movies. He especially loved to watch “Home Alone” and “Uncle Buck.” “He tells stories about his kids, of course, like any father would. He’s proud of them,” she said.

Since suffering a stroke, Kit’s health has not gotten better. The father of five had a piece of his artery break off and travel to his brain while cooking.

But his deteriorating health has not sparked any intentions for his children to reach out to him. Thaila said Shane, Macaulay, Kieran, Quinn, Christian, and Rory, have not contacted or helped with medical bills.

Kits’ cooking incident landed him in the hospital, and he and his partner Jeannette, who suffers from memory loss, moved in with Thalia.

Watching Kit relearn how to speak and write and watching her mother fight through her health issues became difficult for Thalia to handle. She said she had a husband, three children, and two dogs to care for, so her parents’ added responsibility was overwhelming.

Thalia also spoke up for her stepfather, claiming that all Kit did was make money for his children and come out of it with nothing. But she said the custody battle was never about money but his children and his controlling ex-wife.

Since it has been years without any communication between Kit and his kids, Thalia is not confident that a reconciliation is possible, and she’s certain that Culkin will never speak to his father again.

The choice to not speak to one another again does not only come from Culkin’s side. After Culkin sided with his mother during the court battle, Kit said, “I do not consider him a son anymore.”

Kit’s stroke gave him even more clarity about his broken relationship with his son. He’s accepted the situation and made peace with never speaking to his son again.

Kit got out of the custody battle with nothing, but he and Jeannette are retired and live off their social security grant like “normal people,” said Thalia.

Meanwhile, as Culkin has gotten older, he’s done his best to process the trauma from his childhood and see the positive side of things.

Things might have seemed extremely bad, but he realized it could have been worse. “I wasn’t working in a coal mine. I wasn’t a child soldier. My father was not sexually abusing me,” he said.

The former child actor admitted that his childhood was not great, but there were more positive aspects of his life to appreciate, like his beautiful fiancée, Brenda’s Song, fame, his house, and animals.

To add to the list of things to be appreciative of is fatherhood. The actor and Song welcomed their first child, Dakota, (named after his late sister) in 2021.

The couple was over the moon about their new addition. “You can’t be around him and not be happy,” the father gushed.

Song and Culkin share the same experience of being child actors, which is one of the reasons their connection was so instant. Their love story began in Thailand on a movie set, and after pictures of them surfaced on the internet, Culkin confirmed the relationship during an interview.

He spoke very fondly of his fiancée. From the onset, he said she was the one he would be having babies with and was excited about the cute Asian babes they would make. The couple even recently welcomed their second son.

Just like the birth of their first son, they kept the second one under wraps too. But a close source revealed that they were happy and still very much in love with each other.

Culkin’s introduction to acting might not have been the best experience, but his talent has given people one of the best holiday movies, and he has grown up to be a kind and loving father and partner.