Last year, actor Corey Feldman released his book Coreyography in which he told of both his and late actor Corey Haim’s sexual abuse at the hands of Hollywood pedophiles and predators. Now a new documentary by Amy Berg titled An Open Secret has debuted in which exposes more underage sexual abuse in Hollywood and names more names.
According to Hollywood Reporter:
The subject was forced out of the shadows earlier this year when Michael Egan III filed lawsuits against X-Men director Bryan Singer, veteran TV executive Garth Ancier, former Disney exec David Neuman and producer Gary Goddard; all four denied the allegations, and by August, Egan had dropped the suits after prior inconsistent statements emerged (he also was scolded by a judge for lying in court). But now Egan is reemerging in a prominent role in Berg’s film, which focuses in part on the late 1990s Internet company Digital Entertainment Network headed byMarc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, who held alcohol- and drug-fueled parties attended by teen boys. “They would pull away the better-looking younger kids and keep them for their own afterparty,” where skinny-dipping was mandatory, says Egan in the film, alleging that Singer was in attendance.
The documentary, which paints a broad picture of sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry, does not revisit the specific allegations in Egan’s lawsuits, nor does it characterize the men Egan sued as predators. But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Berg defends her choice to include them, saying, “The question is, if you are an adult at one of these parties where so much is going on out in the open, what is your responsibility?” She admits, “I don’t know the ins and outs of the various suits,” but she is convinced of Egan’s general credibility.
“He’s a straight man in his 30s,” she continues. “For him to say he was sexually abused by men as a young teen all the way up to his late teens, that’s kind of an unlikely thing to lie about. He was at those parties. His story was not unique. So many other kids had the exact same stories with the same details.” Plus, she adds, Egan’s account is “only one aspect of the story. It’s a much greater issue. When you meet the victims and see how prevalent this problem is, it’s difficult to ignore.”
Singer’s attorney said that Egan is a proven liar and that a federal judge had already admonished him for lying. “Egan has no credibility at all and can hardly be considered a reliable source for her so-called documentary.”
While that may be true, Gregg Kilday points out, that An Open Secret also deals with verifiable evidence of sexual abuse of children by those in the industry. Among some of the names mentioned were Marty Weiss and Bob Villard.
Villard, who pleaded no contest to a felony charge in 2005 and alleged to have sold pictures of shirtless boys on Ebay, was a talent manager who represented Leonardo DiCaprio.
Weiss pleaded no contest in 2012 to two counts of committing lewd acts on a child. This followed him being charged with eight counts of molesting another young performer, whom he represented.
Other talent managers are named in Berg’s documentary as having young boys stay in their homes and attempting to engage them sexually.
Boston attorney Matthew Valentinas contacted Berg to produce An Open Secret following her Oscar winning documentary Deliver Us From Evil, which exposed the sexual abuse taking place in the Roman Catholic Church.
“We chose Amy because we didn’t want it to be exploitative or tabloid,” says Valentinas. “We wanted it to be empowering for the victims.”
Though she was hesitant about the venture because of the disturbing nature of the interviews of victims of sexual abuse, she said it was the “number of convicted pedophiles who are still being hired on set, on kids’ shows” that was “really disturbing.”
Valentinas not only set out to get Berg to turnout the documentary, but also is in the process of setting up a foundation to help victims of sexual abuse, The Courage to Act Foundation.
“The profits from the film are going to the foundation,” Valentinas told Hollywood Reporter. “We are really hoping that more victims will feel they will have a place where they can come out and share their experience. It will also be a way for people to be more educated about how these pedophiles operate in Hollywood, because it’s very specific. The people who are going to Hollywood every year to get into films might be a little more susceptible, and the people who are preying on them have more influence and more power to dangle over them. I hope this film will help the industry to police itself better.”
Keep in mind that many victims are scared to speak out about the crimes committed against them due to the fact they are embarrassed or frightened. Corey Feldman said that he went to the police and even named his abusers, but the police seemed too focused on Michael Jackson to deal with his allegations.
Sadly, this is going more mainstream as we are hearing about teachers abusing and sexually exploiting their students. Even worse, are the “legal” attempts to cover it up and protect the criminals that commit the crimes. So this isn’t just Hollywood child actors and actresses who are facing these types of predators, it’s becoming more rampant across America.
…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
This is a line one simply does not cross, no matter what.
The question I have is, what parent would allow their children to be subjected to everything and protected from nothing?