Elijah Wood is one of the rare actors to have made the transition from child star to adult success, and in a new interview with The Sunday Times he opens up about one of Hollywood’s dirtiest secrets: rampant sexual exploitation of children in show business.
Addressing the sex scandal in the U.K. involving once-beloved BBC broadcaster Jimmy Savile — who was subsequently discovered to have been a predatory pedophile who preyed on numerous children over the course of decades — Wood discussed his own knowledge of similar abuse taking place in Hollywood.
“You all grew up with Savile… it must have been devastating,”; said Wood in the interview, as reported by The Telegraph. “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind.”;
He added: “There is darkness in the underbelly – if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”;
Rumours have been swirling in recent years of endemic sexual abuse of child performers, with former child star Cory Feldman claiming he suffered lifelong psychological damage and addiction issues after being victimized as a child, telling a British tabloid in 2012 about older men “leching around like vultures.”; In his autobiography “Coreyography”;, Feldman claims that the late Corey Haim confided in him about likewise being the victim of sexual abuse by a pedophile.
In addition, Lance Bass recently revealed that he was touched inappropriately by an older man while he was in “N SYNC.
Wood says he avoided being placed in situations that would have led him to danger — because his mother wouldn’t allow it, forbidding him to attend Hollywood parties.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,”; he told The Sunday Times.
As Wood said, children are seen as “prey”; by powerful Hollywood predators. “If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,”; he added. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”;
This rampant abuse of children in Hollywood is likely still going on today, he added: “I’ve been led down dark paths to realize that these things are probably still happening.”;
Following the release of The Sunday Times article, Wood is now denying having knowledge of child sex abuse in Hollywood and claims his remarks were “wildly misinterpreted”; in a statement shared on THR and his official Twitter account. “The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film, but the story became about something else entirely,”; Wood began. “It prompted a number of false and misleading headlines. I had just seen a powerful documentary and I briefly spoke with the reporter about the subject, which had consequences I did not intend or expect. Lesson learned.
“Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated. But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no firsthand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen,”; he added.