20 Child Actors Who Have Spoken Out on Abuse

20 Child Actors Who Have Spoken Out on Abuse

Whether it’s the outrage over alleged Hollywood sex rings run by rich elite producers, manipulative sexual assaults by managers and directors, or personal memories of relatives abusing young children. Recently, Hollywood is a ticking time bomb with unsavory news about abuse.  It’s not only former child actors who are taking a stand on abuse. Older celebrities have been coming forward as well. Stories shared are often heartbreaking and have been more vocally shared ever since 2017’s #MeToo, through which abusers are called out more publicly.

20. Julianne Hough 

20 Child Actors Who Have Spoken Out on Abuse

Julianne Hough began to speak out about childhood abuse in 2013 via Cosmopolitan magazine. Apparently, she’d been sent to study dance in London when she was ten years old. She had gone to study at the Italia Conti Academy of Arts, without her parents, accompanying her journey. Due to her dancing style being rather sensual, she elucidated that people got the impression that she was older than she was. Hough went on to describe herself as an innocent child who was tormented by adults. She claimed the abuse increased when she started going through puberty but declined to describe what form it took or who was responsible for it. Thankfully, she began to deal with her painful memories when she took on filming Safe Haven. Her role as an abuse survivor allowed her to relive her feelings and then move past them. Somewhat therapeutic acting.

19. Corey Feldman

In the 1980s, Corey Feldman starred in movie hits such as The Goonies, or The Lost Boys. As an adult, he shared his childhood experiences with Hollywood pedophiles in his series on A&E The Two Coreys. He’s also written Coreyography; his memoir, and An Open Secret; a documentary. Feldman noted that California’s statute of limitations prevents him from naming names. The process would allow anyone Feldman accused to legally sue him. He understands the personal and public frustration this has caused, but wants to continue being outspoken about his own childhood abuse story and has found avenues in the industry to share.

18. Corey Haim

Sadly, Haim lost his battle to depression, when he overdosed at the young age of 39. Haim was the second of The Two Coreys in Corey Feldman’s series. Feldman and Haim were close friends, and both were molested by several elite men. While Feldman was never raped, he testified that Haim was. The two friends were approached at Hollywood parties by powerful men in the industry. Those men would present the time spent together as a great opportunity to ascend in stardom and try to befriend the two young boys. Feldman still alleges that a dark network of people existed with the purpose of preying on youngsters at that time. Haim was just eleven years old when the rape occurred, and he spent the remainder of his life struggling with drug abuse.

17. Elijah Wood

While never a survivor of assault, Wood spoke up about the dangers and dark sides of Hollywood, where child actors are considered “open prey” within a pedophilic industry. He claims that his mother protected him during his early years in films like “Flipper” and “The Good Son” and prohibited parties where adults could prey on him.

16. Mo’nique

Actress Mo’nique processed her experiences with sexual molestation in her role as an abusive mother in “Precious”. As a child, she was sexually abused by her older brother, who lured her in with candy. In an interview with Essence magazine, she told the interviewers that she “became her brother” on set. Every time, director Lee Daniels called out “Action”, she remembered her years growing up in Baltimore and switched into character. For her role, she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, which she dedicated to every survivor of abuse. In 2010, her brother announced on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, that he molested her and wanted to apologize. Mo’nique did not want to be a part of this.

15. Gabriel Byrne 

Gabriel Byrne first revealed his molestation in 2010. The Irishman said that he thought it was just the way things were in the world. He was sexually abused twice, once as a young child at a Christian Brothers school in Ireland and another time as a seminary student in England. He explained, that it took him a while to process what had happened to him but ultimately believes, his alcoholism stemmed from the early abuses.

14. Joey Coleman 

Joey Coleman is one of several former child actors who were part of An Open Secret, the controversial documentary about sexual predators in Hollywood. The documentary had a limited release in 2015, because of the SAG-AFTRA’s threat to take legal action against director Amy Berg for its content. SAG-AFTRA demanded that it not be referenced in the film, and it was the first time the union ever threatened legal action against any filmmaker. Coleman’s appearance in the film included his testimony concerning his experiences with child actor-manager Michael Harrah of the Screen Actors’ Guild. Harrah denied Coleman’s allegations, albeit in a secretly taped phone conversation he confessed to treating the actor inappropriately.

13. Todd Bridges

Bridges, famous for his role as Willis Jackson in the 1980s hit sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes. In his biography “Killing Willis”, he described the abuse in his childhood. Amongst acting, his work as an advocate for legislation to protect child actors has been an integral part of his life. He has stated legislative bills could help monitor Hollywood, to prevent pedophiles from committing “inhumane acts”.

12. Evan Henzi

Evan Henzi was once a child actor and client of Marty Weiss, the youth talent manager. Henzi fought back against the manager who assaulted him sexually over a period of five years on 30 to 40 occasions. Looking back on his life, Henzi admitted that he harbored anger for the legal system.

When Weiss was convicted of two charges against Henzi, the sentence was just six months spent in prison. Henzi spent the years from 11 to 21 trying to understand what happened to him and why. He took the blame for the abuse and felt guilty for years. For a long time, he just felt confused, until he learned that it’s simply “sick” for an adult man to want to have sex with an 11-year-old boy. Henzi is most recently known for his contribution to the documentary An Open Secret. Henzi openly wept through the entire film during the viewing in New York.

11. Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp, the Star Trek actor, was 14 years old when he was sexually harassed by actor Kevin Spacey. Spacey apologized for his behavior, but also said that he was drunk and did not remember the 1986 incident. Rapp felt compelled to speak out about his encounter with Kevin Spacey, who used the opportunity to come out as gay while making his statement. Rapp, who was part of the original cast of Rent, is openly gay and felt that the multitude of allegations about Harvey Weinstein inspired many victims of sexual harassment to share their own stories.

10. Drew Barrymore

20 Child Actors Who Have Spoken Out on Abuse

Drew Barrymore is famous around the world for her role as Gertie, the little girl in E.T. She is part of the famous Barrymore dynasty; a multi-generational family of stage and film actors. Her grandfather was John Barrymore. She wrote her autobiography in 1989, “Little Girl Lost” which details her memories of her father who was abusive but left her family when she was just six months old. Drew spent years of her childhood, smoking, drinking, drugging, partying, and in rehab.

9. Samantha Geimer

Samantha Geimer was a thirteen-year-old girl, when director Roman Polanski took her to the Hollywood Hills home of Jack Nicholson, drugged her with Quaalude and a drink of Champagne, and then raped her. He had promised her a photo shoot for a magazine, a big chance at fame.Her mother was first to notify the police and in the following year, Samantha spent most of her time retelling her story to a myriad of attorneys, police officers, and doctors who were involved in the case. Ultimately, she told a grand jury, too. Polanski was ultimately sentenced to 42 days in the Chino State Prison. After that, Polanski fled the United States.

More than thirty years passed before Polanski was arrested. He was caught in Switzerland. Samantha eventually married and became the mother of three sons. She wrote a book about her story called The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. Her writing reflects that she was more hurt by journalists and others in the film industry who sensationalized her story for the purposes of their own gain. Although it took her a long time to feel “okay”, she views her experience as simply surviving the “common crime of a very famous man”.

8. Michael Egan

Michael Egan accused director Bryan Singer and other influential Hollywood men of pedophilic sexual abuse.His allegations were countered with industry backlash. He claimed that he was groomed for Hollywood by working for Digital Entertainment Network figures at the M&C estate. He remembers a long list of rules for living there with the executives and a stock of young and attractive men. No clothes in the hot tub or pool areas, drugs of all kinds, drinking, and inappropriate advances.

When Egan finally decided to set forth his allegations, he included prominent gay and elite members of Hollywood, and that is what made his announcement different from many others. He also included specific intimate details about what was done to him. His position is that he was an unwilling victim, while those he accused take the position that he was a liar who traded sexual encounters for the chance to enter the Hollywood business. In the end, Egan dropped his case and is now looking at prison time for fraud.

7. Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim was famous for her portrayal of Nellie Oleson on the popular television show Little House on the Prairie. She was just twelve years old, but she played Nellie with a wide array of yells, screams, awful faces, and manipulative behaviors. She didn’t tell anyone that one of her relatives had sexually abused her starting when she was six years old and continuing until she was nine. For her, keeping it secret was the hardest. None of her co-workers knew that it had happened and nobody in her family knew either. When she was young, she really didn’t know for certain what was happening to her.

When she grew older, she understood more and realized that things weren’t right. She told her relative that she wasn’t going to do it anymore, and the abuse stopped. Years later, in her twenties, she sought therapy and began to talk about her experience. After her public announcement, she started working on behalf of the National Association to Protect Children.

6. Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips once starred in One Day at a Time in the 1970s and 80s. She told her story on the Oprah Winfrey show, where she presented her book titled “High on Arrival”. She was just eighteen years old when her father raped her. Her father was a rock star and singer with the Mamas and the Papas. Mackenzie had been on a drug binge and passed out. The sexual encounter incited a sexual relationship that lasted for ten years and was consensual. Regardless, it took Mackenzie more than 30 years to get over the rape and its consequences. As an adult, she came to understand that incest was an abuse of power and trust betrayed.

5. Teri Hatcher

Though Teri Hatcher attempted to hide the sexual abuse her uncle subjected her to when she was five, she discarded her life-long fear and decided to tell prosecutors what happened to her. She did so after she learned that her uncle had a victim who committed suicide at the age of 14. That’s when Hatcher know she had to help. Her uncle pleaded guilty to child molestation and was thrown in jail with a sentence of 14 years. The deputy district attorney of Santa Clara County, California noted that the case would have been dismissed had it not been for Hatcher’s testimony.

4. Dylan Farrow

In 2014, Dylan Farrow wrote a letter describing her adoptive father, Woody Allen for sexually assaulting her. Dylan was only seven years old when the abuse allegedly took place, and her mother, Mia Farrow, took on the position of the point person in their widely publicized legal struggle against misconduct in the star-struck world of Hollywood. Allen himself claimed that the only reason Mia stood up for Dylan is to gain complete custody of the child. The case has been written about hundreds of times, but Dylan wrote about it the first time herself and explicitly described what happened to her.

She wrote that Woody Allen took her to the attic in their house, told her to lie down on her stomach and “play with her brothers’ train set”. That’s when he assaulted her, whispering through the event, telling her it was their secret. Dylan has difficulty even looking at toy trains now. Woody Allen was never convicted for the crime he was said to have committed. But Dylan cut herself, had problems eating, and became terrified that men might touch her. Hearing the name Woody Allen brings Dylan nausea. She wrote that society has failed sexual abuse and assault survivors and that Allen is the “living testament” to it. While Allen is celebrated for his movies, Dylan lives with the memories of vulnerability, which is why she chose to testify.

3. Alex Winter

When Alex Winter interviewed Adrian Chiles of BBC 5 Live, Winter described his sexual abuse during the 1970s when he was a child star. It was still a decade before he would reach fame by starring in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure with Keanu Reeves. Winter said that he went through a “hellish” boyhood and eventually suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of it. Winter aptly told Chiles that young boys are not in a position of power and are often fearful for their safety.

He also said that there’s an unspoken requirement that sexual things must be kept hushed and not public. Winter never thought he would speak about it in public. He said he expected that he would die with the secret, though he never believed that keeping it within small circles of understanding people was the right thing to do. When the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein broke open, he changed his mind and began to speak openly. The one best thing for him about the time of his abuse was that his top hit film Bill & Ted, as he spoke about it, gave him a very sweet world where he could have fun and ultimately get the therapy he needed from that.

2. Anthony Edwards

Edwards, best known for his roles in ER, Top Gun, Zodiac, and Revenge of the Nerds, became the author of an essay published on Medium in 2017. His essay was titled “Yes, Mom. There is Something Wrong”, with the subtitle “From victim to survivor.” In the essay, Edwards described his experiences with his pedophile mentor Gary Goddard, who denied the claims. Edwards had learned about acting, studying, and friendship from Goodard when he was 12 years old and belonged to a group of five friends. Goddard was what Edwards termed their “sick father figure”.

Goddard had molested Edwards during a production for youth theater of Peter Pan, and also raped Edwards’ best friend. For years, the five friends kept quiet about it. Their “gang” as Edwards described them, depended on Goddard for love and support, and unfortunately were taught through abuse that love was depending on their behaviors. He eventually was able to overcome his shame and remove the secrecy by writing about his experiences.

1. Eliza Dushku

20 Child Actors Who Have Spoken Out on Abuse

Eliza Dushku was just 12 years old when she was working on True Lies, playing Dana, the daughter of Harry and Helen Tasker. On January 13, 2018, she posted on Facebook how Joel Kramer sexually molested her while she was on set. He was the stunt coordinator for the film and Dushku wrote that he showered her with attention. One day, he encouraged her to come to his hotel room in Miami, then disrobed and molested her. Dushku also indicated that the day her friend confronted Kramer about his behavior, Dushku had a stunt injury, even though Kramer was supposed to be certain that she would not be harmed.

Dushku’s Facebook post was followed by women who posted their own stories in support of her. She thanked them for being brave and for the strength that they all shared with her as a result of her post. Jamie Lee Curtis, who portrayed Helen Trasker in True Lies responded to Dushku’s reveal by telling the Huffington Post that Dushku had told her about the sexual abuse years ago and that she was saddened and shocked when she first heard the story. Curtis acknowledged that she was still feeling the same way about the private disclosure as she was years ago.

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