It’s a rainy day in Southwest Virginia. I woke up with the aching residuals of a chest cold and a gruff mood that carried into lunchtime. The wet air outside hung like a warning, not a smile in sight.
As I reclined for a moment to check news updates, I expected stories that matched the weather; bleak and depressing. 2017 has brought on headlines of mass shootings, violent riots and twisted political scandal, with most recent news covering dark secrets of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.
Much to my prediction, I unlocked my iPhone to news that was flattening and cruel– but entirely overdue.
Corey Haim’s rapist has finally been identified as Charlie Sheen.
Let’s rewind to 2008. My mom had bought me a DVD from her past at the supermarket. She handed me a copy of The Lost Boys (1987), warning that I would love it. And after the first five watches of the 80’s classic, in love I was. It quickly became my favorite film and I had major eyes for its two youngest stars, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.
There I was, a millennial middle schooler going through a Two Corey’s phase. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were essentially the teen Hemsworth brothers of the 1980’s. The built careers off of being besties, appearing in movies beloved by many like License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. The mania surrounding their double act was comparable to One Direction– and for good reason.
Feldman with his bad-boy bravado and Haim with his boyish, goody charm. It was a lucrative as it was adorable. The Two Coreys were my first real celebrity crushes. I had to order all of their films off of resale DVD websites, because they were obviously not available at popular entertainment stores in the mid-2000’s. I was passionate about their films and even more fanatical about them. So, it was a great pleasure to learn they had a docuseries, The Two Coreys, on A&E all those years later. Finally, I would reconnect with my crushes in realtime, completing a circle they created so long ago.
The Two Coreys was a far cry from the zany, lovable characters I expected. Feldman, with the same gravelly voice, appeared greasy, concerned and worn. And while Feldman was recognizable, my heart sank as a 13-year-old to see Corey Haim bloated, overweight and tweaking on my television screen. Time had not been kind to them.
I retracted my interest from their true identities back to their films’ sweet characters as teens. The series ended after two unsuccessful seasons in August 2008.
On March 10, 2010, Corey Haim died due to addiction-related illness.
As sad as this initial news made me, I would only come to understand the weight of his passing years later. In the doldrums of summer break 2016, I purchased Corey Feldman’s memoir Coreyography on a whim. I began his book after dinner and read until morning, captivated by Feldman’s profound, shattering retelling of his Hollywood history. His truth explained, often in excruciating detail, the sexual abuse both he and Corey Haim endured in their career as child stars.
Feldman detailed the seedy underbelly of Hollywood stars and executives, exposing them as pedophiles who preyed on the two young actors for over a decade. While identities remained unnamed in the memoir, Feldman claimed Corey Haim’s initial abuse happened on the set of one of his first films, Lucas (1986). More specifically, Haim was allegedly raped on set of the film by a prominent adult male Hollywood figure. Corey Haim was thirteen years old.
Feldman has maintained that both he and Haim were raped and abused by older men into their 20’s. He has in no way remained silent on the matter, outlining his past in several interviews and appearances over the years. The identities of his abusers, however, are the only details kept secret. Feldman has urged that his and Corey Haim’s rapists are Hollywood figures of high esteem, wealth and, most dangerously, power. He has vehemently promised that once it is safe to do so, he will confirm who the Hollywood predators are.
So, flash forward to now, where the male Hollywood machine seems to be crumbling under accusation after accusation of sexual misconduct. As the allegation mill churned another day, former actor Dominick Brascia came forward to attach a name to this ongoing mystery surrounding the late Corey Haim. Brascia identified Lucas co-star Charlie Sheen as Haim’s abuser. Brascia’s allegations line up with Feldman’s; Sheen engaged in anal sex with a thirteen-year-old Corey between sets during filming.
And while this news item may seem inconsequential to dozens of other sexual abuse scandals or maybe even irrelevant as it pertains to a deceased 80’s teen star, I, for one, rejoice that this matter is being investigated. As I explained, I’ve followed Feldman and Haim’s tragic past for quite some time. While courageous actresses and females in the business are having their turn to waive a #MeToo hashtag, Corey Haim lead a life of addiction and ultimately died because of the trauma of sexual abuse.
Corey Feldman has discussed the most crucial understanding of Hollywood predation: his abusers were people he trusted. The abuse they endured was not always violent or strained. Rather, when placed into the care of Hollywood male moguls, the young actors were coerced into acts they did not understand. Feldman wrote in his memoir that Haim’s rapist explained that sex between grown men and boys in the industry was normal. Haim was convinced it was just what they do.
As sick and disturbing as it may sound, it is part of the Hollywood culture. Feldman has emphasized pedophilia as the top evil in the industry, stating it is embedded into rituals of success and fame for child stars. The repeated abuse from managers, agents and actors around a young Haim resulted in a deteriorated sense of self and reality. Feldman details in Coreyography Haim’s struggle with addiction. His warped introduction to sex lead Haim to treat sexual interactions like transactions– almost like getting a fix. That same internalized torment of abuse lead the actor to a lifetime of drug use. Pain that couldn’t be verbalized was numbed by other means. Means often provided by the predators in his circle.
For all that shout “what about men!” in the dialogue of feminist issues– now is your time to motivate your concern into action. Men are also survivors of sexual assault and rape. The ramifications of their abuse is also ugly– emotional damage, struggle with addiction and even patterns of abuse on their part. Feldman opened up about the shame associated with his abuse, sharing how lonely and emasculating it felt being on a poster in every teen girl’s bedroom while simultaneously being passed around by men twenty years his senior. The believed impossibility of a handsome, happy-go-lucky teen boy under the attack of pedophilia was precisely what kept the actors silent for so long.
It is my hope that if Charlie Sheen did indeed rape Corey Haim those many years ago, his career immediately vanishes with the likes of Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. It is crucial that the accountability I discussed in my previous article, The News About Harvey Weinstein Isn’t Shocking, be elevated to zero tolerance. Pedophilia has never and will never find a home in my entertainment. Turning a blind eye to the males who are victims to a demented Hollywood practice makes us no better than those who choose not to believe women of similar circumstance.
Corey Feldman is in talks to produce a documentary film as part of a new campaign he calls TRUTH campaign. He began a Kickstarter for the film, extending the invitation to donate to anyone with money to spare. His eager goal of $10 million dollars has only been chipped away by 2%. Attention to this cause is dismal for Feldman. Many believe, including Corey Haim’s mother Judy Haim, that Feldman’s campaign is a ploy to resurrect his career financially. I cannot confirm or deny this, and I’m aware that his bizarro, washed up persona is a little deterring. But the blatant rejection of Feldman, his project and his claims from the industry poses the question:
what more do they have to hide?