Former child star discusses sex abuse in Hollywood

KATY WINN / ASSOCIATED PRESS Former child star Corey Feldman, who says he was abused mentally and sexually as a youth, will speak today at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom as part of New Jersey's Crime Victims' Rights Week.
KATY WINN / ASSOCIATED PRESS Former child star Corey Feldman, who says he was abused mentally and sexually as a youth, will speak today at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom as part of New Jersey's Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Posted: April 11, 2014

THERE WASN'T a monster Corey Feldman couldn't handle in the movies.

Feldman, 42, starred in a string of blockbusters and cult classics in the 1980s that Generation Xers and their siblings probably played over and over on VHS tapes until they broke.

Feldman slayed vampires in "The Lost Boys," traded wisecracks with Mama Fratelli and her sons in "The Goonies," battled gremlins in "Gremlins" and shed youthful innocence in "Stand by Me."

But monsters lurked in Feldman's offscreen life, too. Adults in the Hollywood system and his own family abused him mentally and sexually, he says, at a time when he was one of the world's biggest child stars. He's only recently figured out how to defeat these real-life terrors.

"It's all about communication," Feldman said in an interview with the Daily News this week. "Victims need to feel they can open up and express themselves in these situations."

Feldman opened up about his own abuse in Coreyography, a memoir published in October that details the California native's quick rise from television commercials to feature films, along with his often-rocky friendship with fellow troubled child actor Corey Haim, who died in 2010, and Michael Jackson, whom he first met on the set of "Goonies."

One reviewer described the book as "unflinchingly bleak."

"I had a very rough childhood," Feldman said. "But when I was on the set and working with my peers, in films like 'Goonies,' I made deep bonds I still carry today. I try to look back on most of it in a good and positive light."

Feldman is scheduled to speak at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom on White Horse Pike in Camden County today as part of New Jersey's Crime Victims' Rights Week. He agreed to come to Camden County and talk about the abuse after being contacted via Facebook by Amanda Milano, a fan of his films and a victim advocate with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Milano, 30, said she grew up watching Feldman because of her older siblings and contacted him after reading Coreyography.

"It took a lot of courage for him to put this into writing," Milano said. "A lot of our victims don't even know they're being abused, and that's something he spoke about extensively in the book. He didn't always realize what was going on while the abuse was happening."

In Coreyography, Feldman claims he was sexually abused by men in his circles, including his own employees. They would often give him drugs before, during and after, and he developed addictions before he turned 18.

"I was just trying to depress those feelings," he said. "It's fairly common for victims to become addicts."

Feldman didn't identify his alleged abusers because the statute of limitations ran out years ago, but he said at least one is a well-known Hollywood figure.

Victims often recall the abuse decades after it happened, when memories are jarred loose by sobriety or therapy, and Feldman said abusers shouldn't get a pass just because of the calendar.

"They are all aware of the book and they are all concerned," Feldman said of his abusers.

Despite the drugs and the abuse, stints in rehab and the loss of Haim, who Feldman said was also sexually abused, he hasn't stopped acting, appearing in spoofs, straight-to-video productions and television series for the past two decades. It's doubtful you'll see Feldman in anything at your local movie theater, but according to the Internet Movie Database, he's appearing in five movies this year alone.

He said he remains interested in taking part in a "Goonies" sequel. He's already appeared in two sequels to "The Lost Boys."

Feldman also makes music that seems to be inspired, in some ways, by his late friend Michael Jackson. Many critics would beg to differ on whether it's actually music, Feldman said, but that's not stopping him.

"I had some big hate thrown at me in the last couple of years," he said. "I don't let that stop my inspiration and my creativity. My fans speak in volumes."


On Twitter: @JasonNark

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|