Last weekend and through the week, Elijah Wood brought the issue of pedophilia in Hollywood into the spotlight again by talking about the prevalence and many victims of child predators. Expanding on that, former child actor Corey Feldman went into further grim detail and spoke directly about his own abuse in a recent interview.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Feldman—who’s been open about being a victim of child abuse—describes the predatory environment surrounding kids in Hollywood as “a growing problem, not a shrinking problem.” In particular, he talks about the rape of his friend Corey Haim, who died in 2010 after battling addiction.
Feldman tells THR:
“He had more direct abuse than I did. With me, there were some molestations and it did come from several hands, so to speak, but with Corey, his was direct rape, whereas mine was not actual rape. And his also occurred when he was 11. My son is 11 now and I can’t even begin to fathom the idea of something like that happening to him. It would destroy his whole being. As I look at my son, a sweet, innocent, 11-year-old boy and then try to put him in Corey Haim’s shoes, I go, ‘Oh my God — well of course he was erratic and not well-behaved on sets and things like that.’”
Feldman later theorizes that “Haim’s rapist was probably connected to something bigger and that is probably how he has remained protected for all these years.”
When asked what types of people were responsible for the incidents (producers, studio heads, etc.), Feldman says he’d love to name names but points to the issue of power dynamics:
“I’m not able to name names. People are frustrated, people are angry, they want to know how is this happening and they want answers and they turn to me and they say, “Why don’t you be a man and stand up and name names and stop hiding and being a coward?” I have to deal with that, which is not pleasant, especially given the fact that I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.”
Feldman adds that “the lawmakers in California” need to better address the protection of child actors. “If somebody came forward with a suit against one of these people [who molested me],” he says, “I would certainly be more than happy to back them up. But that hasn’t happened.”
Are these people still working in Hollywood?
One of them is. He’s still prominently in the business today.
And have you ever confronted him yourself or run into him?
We’ve run into each other many times but no, I’ve never confronted him.
One of the more disturbing revelations from Feldman is his recollection of industry parties where kids anywhere from 10 to 16 years old would interact with adult men in attendance. “They would throw these parties where you’d walk in and it would be mostly kids and there would be a handful of adult men,” says Feldman. “They would also be at the film awards and children’s charity functions.”
“The lure for kids is that they work in adult world. All of their friends become adults and they very rarely get to interact with other kids,” he adds. “So when somebody approaches you and says, ‘Hey, this is a Hollywood party where you get to hang out with the powerful people in Hollywood,’ well that sounds like a great opportunity.”
And they’re being molested or raped at these parties?
I didn’t say that but I’m saying that’s —
You’re saying they’re groomed?
Exactly, that’s the networking and that’s when you become pals with them and you get their phone numbers and you get their mom’s phone numbers and the next thing you know they talk to the moms and say, “Hey, I want to take Corey out to an event, this would be great for him, let me pick him up and take him.” And they turn that power over right away to the publicist or the photographers.
Feldman was also asked about his friendship with Michael Jackson, who faced multiple child molestation allegations when he was alive. “He was a friend and our relationship did not end well. We had a falling out and that was due to the fact that there was definitely a dark side to him,” says Feldman. “But that dark side in no way connected itself to pedophilia by my estimation.”
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