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Judge gives mom custody in Culkin case

NEW YORK, April 3 -- A New York judge has awarded sole custody of child film star Macaulay Culkin and his four younger siblings to his mother, leaving the boy's father, Kit Culkin, entirely out of the picture. State Supreme Court Justice David Saxe says Culkin's mother, Patricia Brentrup, 'is a fit parent and that it is in the children's best interest to award sole legal custody of the children to her.'

The judge awarded Kit Culkin 'reasonable' visitation with his younger children, but said that he could not visit his older children until family therapy healed his relationship with them. The 16-year-old Macaulay and 14-year-old Kieran have both indicated they do not want to see their father. Saxe said that Brentrup was granted control over her children's careers because 'Macaulay and Kieran insist they will not work with Mr. Culkin.' Saxe described Kit Culkin as 'a demanding, difficult and pugnacious man,' but credited him with Macaulay's success as a star. The judge also criticized the mother for not fostering discipline and good study habits. He said: 'Put bluntly, the older children have done poorly in school and some of them appear to have learning problems.' Brentrup was also awarded back child support payments of between $32, 000 and $47,000 for McCaulay, Kieran and three younger children. The couple's two oldest children, who are 20 and 18, were not involved in the case. ---

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