Wood warned that paedophiles were being protected by senior Hollywood figures CREDIT: REX
Hollywood is in the grip a child sexual abuse scandal similar to that of Jimmy Savile in Britain, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has claimed.
Jimmy Savile, a BBC star, was sheltered by those around him. It was years after his death before it became common knowledge that he molested hundreds and possibly thousands of children, often doing so in hospitals. This revelation has sparked a major investigation into other media personalities resulting in stars like Rolf Harris being sentenced to prison.
The 35-year-old former child actor said paedophiles had been protected by powerful figures in the movie business and that abuse was probably still taking place.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Wood said he had been protected from abuse as he was growing up, but that other child actors had been regularly “preyed upon” at parties by industry figures.
“You all grew up with Savile – 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 said the abuse was allowed to continue because victims “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”
“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people,” he said.
“They can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
Allegations that senior Hollywood figures have been protecting child abusers have gathered pace in recent years.
Anne Henry, co-founder of Bizparents, a group set up to help child actors, said Hollywood is currently sheltering around 100 active abusers and said a “tsunami” of claims was beginning.
Yesterday, the UAE announced a new law making it mandatory to report child abuse. I think the USA should consider such a law so that those creeps who enable and protect the perverts can be charged for complicity, no matter how high up in Hollywood society they are.
Corey Feldman, another former child actor who started in films such as Gremlins, the Goonies and Stand by Me in the 1980s , has said that as a young teenager he was “surrounded” by abusers.
Jamison Newlander, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys (1987). Haim died of a drug overdose in 2010 CREDIT: REX
In 2012 he told a British tabloid that when he was 14 and 15 older men had been “leching around like vultures”.
The actor went on to suffer mental health problems, alcoholism and drug addiction. These are typical responses to child sex abuse.
Wood said he had been spared similar experiences while growing up because his mother had not let him attend parties.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,” he said.
“If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed.
“People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”