Corey Feldman recently caused a stir in Hollywood when he produced a documentary in which he promised to reveal the names of powerful people in show business who were sexually abusing children and getting away with it.
The first time I heard of the Corey Feldman My Truth documentary was during my research for a story about child exploitation in Hollywood. One of my actor friends told me I might be interested in catching the documentary because everyone in his industry was abuzz with news about Feldman's upcoming exposé.
The way it was distributed to the public was somewhat gimmicky. It was held as a "one day only" screening of the documentary on March 9. "E-Tickets" were priced at $20, and it was to be made available for streaming simultaneously as the movie premiered in front of audiences at a Hollywood theater at 8 pm PST (11 pm EST my time).
The Night of March 9
Monday night rolled along. As I was sipping my Sleepy Time tea, waiting for the clock to strike 11 pm, I noticed that the website where the documentary was supposed to be streamed was showing a 403 error.
Naturally, I thought the problem was on my end so I restarted the computer. That didn't fix it, so I cleared the cache. Still, nothing seemed to work. I then went on Twitter, and I saw how thousands of other people had the same issue. It was now 11:15 pm, and no one could access the much-anticipated documentary. Many were up in arms because they were worried that this had been a scam and they now were short of the $20 they paid for the tickets.
I'll admit I felt a sort of weird communal internet warmth as everyone interacted with each other trying to figure out what was going on with the documentary. Twitter, which is not known for amicable consensus, came together as one because everyone was perplexed at what was happening.
I even wondered if this was how people back in the days of network television felt when everyone came together to tune in and watch the shows which made TV history like Roots or the last episode of Mash or Cheers (you can ask your parents about this phenomena).
Feldman had promised to reveal a shocking exposé on the names of the powerful men who were sexually abusing children but got away with it because of their status and power in Hollywood. We had cleared our schedules, handed over our cash, and stayed up late so we could watch what he had to say.
By midnight, everyone was getting angry because they were fed this hype for months leading up to the day of the premiere, only to be left tired and falling asleep as we waited for Feldman's team to fix the issue. Around 1 am, I gave up. I put away my empty mug of Sleepy Time tea and headed to bed.
Nefarious Forces Preventing the Truth from Emerging?
The next day, Feldman claimed that the streaming service went down because the website was hacked. But we were still speculating if we had all been scammed. Why wouldn't Feldman just tell us the names of these pedophiles in Hollywood if he really wanted to stop them? Why didn't he just upload the documentary somewhere so the public would be informed? Why was there a clause in the website's terms and services saying audiences will not be given a refund to their money if things don't go as planned?
Finally, at 5pm EST on March 10, the documentary was available to stream. It looks like Feldman's team fixed the issue and we weren't scammed after all (phew!). The first part of the documentary was mostly about Charlie Haim and how he often seemed troubled. Feldman then talked about how he himself had been sexually abused as a child by adults while he was working in Hollywood.
At one point Feldman talked about how, at 14 years old, he was appalled at Haim for trying to come on to him sexually. Haim responded with puzzlement, explaining how an adult male had convinced him that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was what all “guys do.” Who was this adult man?
Actors Corey Haim and Corey Feldman pose outside Las Palmas club October 17, 2001 in Hollywood, CA.
The moment of truth arrives. Feldman breaks his silence and names Charlie Sheen as Haim's alleged rapist. He provided a detailed account of the incident Haim described, which includes references to Crisco as lube, and how they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers during a lunch break, where Haim was sodomized.
The Rape of Corey Haim
From a Rolling Stones recap of the documentary, the alleged rape of Haim happened on the set of Lucas (when he was 13 years old) by Charlie Sheen. To make matters more disturbing, Sheen played a character who was supposed to be a big brother protector for Haim's character in the movie. The film, which was released in 1986, tells the coming of age story of Lucas, who joined his school’s football team to prove that he has what it takes to be attractive to girls but struggled in his quest to do so. It was Sheen’s character who acted as a mentor protector to help Lucas (Haim) overcome himself.
We then watched how the allegations against Sheen were supported in the documentary by Feldman's ex-wife, Susie Sprague (who appeared in The Two Coreys), and Jamison Newlander, an actor who grew close to Feldman and Haim after co-starring with them in the 1987's The Lost Boys. Both admit Haim had revealed the alleged rape to them and they claimed that Haim hated even the idea of watching Lucas whenever someone suggested they watch it on DVD. They then suggested that this abuse was common knowledge in Hollywood circles but was ignored, implying that no one could take down Charlie Sheen.
How Predators Get Away with Abuse
I asked my actor friend what he thought about this, and he said he was not surprised. He mentioned how it seems like a common thing that people in the entertainment industry tend to brush away accusations of sexual abuse made by young boys.
What my friend said about child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry matches what Feldman claimed. In the film, Feldman claims that Corey Haim's mother had been part of a calculated movement to bury both the truth about Sheen's involvement and Feldman's efforts to expose other abusers.
In one of the most emotional scenes from the documentary, Feldman teared up and accused Judy Haim of not defending and protecting her own son: "It's your responsibility, Judy Haim, and not anyone else's so stop putting the blame on me!" Feldman tries to address why Judy Haim refuses to acknowledge the abuse and bring the guilty to justice but instead engages in online battles to damage Feldman’s reputation and attacks his fans. (My friend added how Judy Haim reminded him of the women in the entertainment industry who were complicit in perpetuating the abuse and showed me a clip of the women hosts from “The Talk” criticizing Feldman for shining light on Haim’s abuse because they claimed it wasn’t Feldman’s story to tell.)
Towards the end of the documentary, Feldman calls out the entertainment industry for perpetuating the sexual exploitation of minors: "They're liable for what happened [to Haim]." He goes on to say how the problem isn’t with the higher ups: "I'm not outing a bunch of executives. It's not the executive." But rather, he pointed out the problem was "the little guys like publicists, managers, parents" because they’re the ones who have the closest access to child actors on a daily basis. Feldman stated that these people need to stop being complicit with the abuse and stop pretending it’s not a problem.
The documentary closes with a call for everyone to take action and for victims to come forward with the stories of sexual abuse they suffered as a child. It cautions us that child predators don’t just foster relationships with their victims, but they groom the parents as well; by gaining the parent’s trust, they’ll be able to be left alone with their children. At the end of the day, it will be the parents who will stand as the first line of defense against the sexual abuses of children by these loathsome predators. Parents, be vigilant and don’t allow the lure of fame from show business to steal away your child’s life and their innocence.