Rising star Kieran Culkin insists that he remains close to his famous family - despite the years of estrangement from his father KIT.

The IGBY GOES DOWN star is aware of the column inches devoted to the problems experienced by the brood, but says all that is now water under the bridge.

He says, "I am very close to my six siblings. And I'm very close to my mom. Igby can't even hug his brother. I've never felt the need to break away from my family the way that he does."

And the 20-year old also rejects suggestions his elder brother MACAULAY mismanaged his fame and fortune.

He fumes, "He didn't fall into any traps. Mac never really made those decisions for himself. Some things I remember he wanted to do, but some things were just decisions my father made for him.

"Everybody in my family went through the same thing with my father. It was pretty rough for everybody. I can't say what it was like without getting too personal."

02/06/2003 17:06