‘Dark underbelly’: Elijah Wood has called out Hollywood’s dark child abuse secret
IT’S Hollywood’s sordid secret — an industry with a history of shielding child abusers — and Elijah Wood is the latest star to lift the lid on it.
The 35-year-old Lord of the Rings actor told The Sunday Times paedophiles had a history of being protected in Tinseltown, and the abuse continues.
He likened the cover-up to the Jimmy Savile scandal that rocked Britain.
The former child star, an actor from the age of eight, said he had been protected by his mother from abuse as he grew up in the industry.
But other child actors were not so fortunate, preyed upon at parties hosted and attended by powerful industry figures, he said.
On the publicity trail to promote his latest film crime thriller The Trust, Wood preferred to point his finger squarely at the Tinseltown cover-up.
“You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” he said. “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind”
“There is a darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
Wood, whose fame peaked when he played Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings,said the abuse continued because
“victims can’t speak as loudly as people in power. If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” he said. People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
Bizparents, a group set up to help child actors, says the industry is sheltering about 100 active abusers. Co-founder Anne Henry says a wave of fresh allegations is coming.
Claims that powerful industry figures have protected child abusers have gained prominence in the past 10 years. There have been a handful of convictions, and many more accusations.
Some criminals have served time, then returned to work with children in the industry.
Former child actor Corey Feldman, whose child film roles included The Goonies, The Lost Boys, Gremlins and Stand by Me in the 1980s, has revealed as a teenager he was surrounded by abusers.
Speaking out in his memoir about the abuse he suffered he said
“The No 1 problem in Hollywood was and is — and always will be — paedophilia”.
By the time he was 14, he said, he was surrounded by child abusers. He became friends with another child actor, Corey Haim, and detailed a tragic encounter between Haim and an abuser. He wrote:
“An adult male had convinced Corey that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations. So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers … and Haim allowed himself to be sodomised.”
Both actors have since experienced mental health problems, alcoholism and addiction to crack and heroin. Haim died at the age of 38, after many visits to rehab.
Feldman blames “a Hollywood mogul” for Haim’s death, and says the people who abused him “are still out there and still working — some of the richest, most powerful people in this business”.
Hollywood agent Bob Villard was convicted of selling images of children on eBay. In 2005 he was sentenced to eight years in prison for committing a “lewd act” on a 13-year-old boy.
Another agent, Martin Weiss, was convicted but spent just six months in prison.
The most sickening and explosive allegations of paedophilia come out of 1990s pool parties hosted by Digital Entertainment director Marc Collins-Rector in the 1990s.
At these parties, Collins-Rector and other men are said to have sexually assaulted at least six teenage boys, according to lawsuits filed in 2000 and 2014.
Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 with five offences against a 13-year-old girl, including raping, drugging and sodomising. He struck a plea bargain, was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and fled the US.
He is still making films in Europe. Wood said his mother, Debra, protected him.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,” he said.“I never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on. This bizarre industry presents so many paths to temptation. If you don’t have some kind of foundation, typically from family, then it will be difficult to deal with.” News.com.au
- Elijah Wood Speaks Out About Hollywood’s Dark Underbelly Of Paedophilia
- Elijah Rips Rampant Hollywood Child Sex Abuse, Compares It To Jimmy Savile Scandal
- Hollywood’s Savile scandal: Star of Hobbit films Elijah Wood says Tinseltown is masking a child sex epidemic in its ‘seedy’