THERE was a frisson of indignation in some New York tabloids last month when Macaulay Culkin, the onetime child star of Home Alone, and now 17, was spied with a cigarette in his hand at a celebrity party. Smoking at his age? Tsk. But now the headline writers will really be muttering.
This last night from his publicist in Los Angeles: the actor is engaged to be married.
It is true.
Old enough to smoke and old enough, apparently, to enter into wedlock. No date has been set, but nuptials are being arranged between Culkin and an actress by the name of Rachel Miner.
You ask if this is an older woman that has snared him. No. So wipe away that froth of moral outrage. This turns out to be almost inspiring: a touching tale of teenage romance blossoming amid the pressures of Hollywood stardom gone dim.
Miner is also 17. Almost, in fact, a minor. Touching because our Macaulay has not had a happy time of late. Too old now to be cast the all-American imp - the latest Home Alone 3 sequel was made without him - his career is in a stall.
And recently he emerged finally from a horrendous court ordeal where his not happily married parents were fighting over custody of him and his millions. (Seventeen million, in fact).
Presumably Ms Miner, who is on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank, can help him finally to make his transition into adulthood and and even, if he is lucky, into a whole new career on stage and screen.
Cynics hush awhile and hear this from Culkin's publicist, who happens to be Miner's as well.
The couple are "thrilled to have found each other as soulmates at such a tender age".
And anyway, Culkin is nearly seventeen and three quarters. He turns 18 in August.
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