Inside Corey Feldman’s wild screening of his sexual abuse film as it went off the rails
It was supposed to be Corey Feldman’s big night.
For years, he had cryptically alluded to the Hollywood players who he alleged had sexually abused him and his best friend, fellow actor Corey Haim, when the two were boys. Now, 10 years after Haim’s death, Feldman was ready to publicly call out the alleged predators in a documentary called “My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys.”
The film, Feldman said, had been rejected by traditional theatrical distributors. So he decided to release it in an unconventional fashion, setting up a website where the film would be available for streaming to anyone who paid $20 on Monday evening. At the same time, the 48-year-old would host an industry premiere on behalf of the documentary at the Directors Guild of America’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
But at 8 p.m. Monday, when the film was supposed to begin streaming online, paying customers were met with an error message. Realizing the website was down, Feldman decided to halt the screening at the DGA after 10 minutes until the technical issues were resolved. But they never were.
“I’d love to say this was all a big act, but it’s not. It’s real,” Feldman told the crowd inside the theater where he and his team stood on stage, frantically trying to figure out how to proceed. In the projection room, one of the film’s producers was on the phone with the digital provider, trying to figure out why the film wasn’t streaming.
Feldman asked his producer to amplify the phone call through a loudspeaker so that the audience could hear the technicians describe how the servers had been “attacked” numerous times by “hackers.” (“Please be patient,” a message read on the film’s website. “The hackers are trying to prevent the stream from airing. The program will begin momentarily. We appreciate your patience and support!”)
As he mulled his options, the room began to grow restless, and Rosanna Arquette — who was seated alongside the likes of Patricia Richardson, Dave Navarro, Chris Kattan and Jamie Kennedy — urged him to move forward with the screening.
“Rosanna Arquette says we gotta do it,” Feldman said. “I want you all to back me when I get sued.”
While the online screening was ultimately canceled, the one at the DGA did continue.
Early Tuesday morning, Feldman was already apologizing for the failed online event and pointing fingers in an all-caps update on Twitter: “I GIV U MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE THAT EVERYONE WILL GET 2 C THE FILM! EVEN IF I HAVTA [BURN] DVDS & SEND THEM 2 EACH OF U! NOTHING WILL KEEP #MYTRUTHDOC FROM COMING OUT! THIS IS INSANE! PLEASE PRAY 4 US!
I GIV U MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE THAT EVERYONE WILL GET 2 C THE FILM! EVEN IF I HAVTA BUTN DVDS & SEND THEM 2 EACH OF U! NOTHING WILL KEEP #MYTRUTHDOC FROM COMING OUT! THIS IS INSANE! PLEASE PRAY 4 US!— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) March 10, 2020
In the movie, Feldman discloses details about the sexual abuse he says he suffered as a child. He also alleges that Haim faced similar abuse, most notably at the hands of actor Charlie Sheen. Haim was 13 when he met Sheen, who was 19 at the time, on the set of the 1985 film “Lucas.”
“This wasn’t like a one-time thing [Haim] said in passing. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, by the way, this happened.’ He went into great detail,” Feldman says in the movie. “He told me, ‘Charlie bent me over in between two trailers and put Crisco oil on my butt and raped me in broad daylight. Anybody could have walked by, anybody could have seen it.’”
Sheen’s publicist released a statement to The Times on Tuesday morning.
“These sick, twisted and outlandish allegations never occurred. Period,” Sheen said. “I would urge everyone to consider the source and read what his mother Judy Haim has to say.”
Judy Haim has for years asserted that he was not sexually abused by Sheen. In a 2017 interview on “The Dr. Oz Show,” she told the host that she didn’t see “one change in character” in her son after he filmed “Lucas.”
“I would have known if anything was wrong. My kid hid nothing. He was, like, transparent. He never hid anything, he was Corey. It’s out of character, that’s No. 1,” she told Oz. “When my son was 13, he’s not going to go and ask Charlie Sheen to go and sleep with him.”
Sheen, who has not had a major acting role since the 2017 flop “9/11,” has long maintained that he never assaulted Haim.
In 2017, after the National Enquirer published a story claiming Sheen and Haim smoked pot and had anal sex, the actor told the Hollywood Reporter that he “categorically” denied the allegations.
That same year, Sheen sued the tabloid and reiterated his innocence to TMZ: “These radically groundless and unfounded allegations end now. I now take a passionate stand against those who wish to even entertain the sick and twisted lies against me.” One year later, he voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.
Feldman is not the only one who makes the assault allegation against Sheen in the documentary. The accusation is repeated by Feldman’s ex-wife, Susannah Sprague, “The Lost Boys” costar Jamison Newlander, “The Two Coreys” producer Scott Carlson, actor Henry Penzi and late friend Gary Hays.
The allegation would likely have been discussed during a panel scheduled to follow the documentary premiere. But after the film’s end credits, Feldman walked back to the front of the theater and told the room he felt it was inappropriate to move forward with the question-and-answer session.
“I am just a bit lost as to what we do next, and I guess I have to figure it out,” he said as some scoffed from their seats. Feldman went on to explain that the E! News journalist who was supposed to moderate the panel had been forced to drop out by the network two hours before the event. He said he was also frustrated with the Associated Press, which he said backed out of a live interview on Monday after watching an embargoed copy of the film.
The Los Angeles Police Department has ended its investigation into actor Corey Feldman’s allegations of sexual abuse and will not seek charges.
“They said, ‘There’s no there there,’” Feldman told the crowd, adding that he had made “like a million dollars in ticket sales” Monday evening. “‘There’s no story here. This has been previously reported. There’s no news here.’ So this is a really, really crazy strong showing of the dark side trying to keep this silent. And we — all of us here tonight — are saying that’s not OK.”
He urged the remaining moviegoers to head to the Sunset Strip, where “free pizza and potato skins” awaited at the Rainbow Bar and Grill. Prior to attending the party, however, Feldman was supposed to complete interviews with some members of the press. But 20 minutes after the documentary was over, Feldman was nowhere to be found.
“Did Corey leave? He just left me with all the ... press. I’m ... done,” his publicist, Samantha Waranch, who once dated Haim and is featured in the film, vented with a few F-bombs as she searched for Feldman.
Waranch offered to share her car over to the Rainbow with me, promising she would help track down Feldman there. While Ron Jeremy and Crystal Hefner were camped out in booths, however, Feldman was nowhere to be found.
“I wanna quit,” Waranch joked, standing amid clouds of cigarette smoke as her calls continued to go to Feldman’s voicemail. About an hour later, Feldman finally arrived, flanked by his wife, Playboy playmate Shauna Sand, and a bevy of paparazzi.
“I’m so sorry to keep you waiting,” he said, offering a hug. A team of a half-dozen security guards he had hired led him to a table at the back of the room.
“I’m very frustrated,” he said, sliding into a booth. “I expected a big celebration and now I don’t feel celebratory at all. I’m very upset.”
Referring to whoever allegedly attacked his website as “terrorists and pedo-protectors,” Feldman admitted he was unsure of how he would move forward with the release of the film. Another streaming event was planned for noon PDT Tuesday, and he said that anyone who had issues watching it on Monday night would be granted access to the second screening.
“If it does not stream, then we’re going to have to start speaking to actual distribution companies and think of an actual distribution alternative,” he said. Feldman said that he initially met with two companies about releasing the documentary: Netflix and Lifetime, the latter of which is owned by A+E Networks, which made “The Two Coreys,” his 2007 reality show with Haim.
“Lifetime was really odd, because they were really excited about it and said it’s a no-brainer,” Feldman said, noting that Lifetime had also aired the 2018 movie “A Tale of Two Coreys.” “And then at the last minute, they got cold feet and they didn’t really give much of an explanation.
“Everybody’s afraid to take the risk,” he continued. “Netflix was afraid to take the risk. They said: ‘We don’t break news stories. We do movies that have already been broken, so if it’s a story that people know, we follow up on that story.’”
In financing the movie himself, Feldman said he has spent around $1.7 million. He initially had an investor who promised him $125,000, but when that money fell through, Feldman went on the reality show “Marriage Boot Camp” to make ends meet. (“I did a terrible reality show. But hey, whatever it takes for the greater good.”)
After spending $300,000 on the production, he said, he had to pay a $1-million deductible for film insurance and $400,000 more between the insurance premium and the upfront fees for the streaming platform.
Feldman said he felt particularly motivated to make the film after the #MeToo movement launched in 2017. He found himself with tens of thousands of new Twitter followers, many of whom were urging him: “Now is the time. Name the names.”
“I’m on tour going, ‘Not the time. Not the place,’” he recalled. “It worked, I guess. It’s not fair that I had to stop everything I was doing. I felt very pressured.”
He paused to get Waranch’s attention.
“Sammy, can I get some food?” he asked. “I want the food that I paid for. I paid for all this food, and I don’t see it anywhere. I want the damn potato skins!”
One of the hired security guards swiftly obtained the skins.
“As I said, the most important thing is victims finding the courage to speak their truth,” Feldman continued, biting into a potato. “What [ hackers] are doing right now creates more fear and confusion. The victims feel intimidated. They’re gonna go, ‘I try to speak my truth and look what happened to Corey.’ That’s not OK. That’s why I give my word to each and every person that paid for this film that they are going to see this film no matter what.”
He went on: “Nothing will stop this, because God gave me the strength to get this far. I will not stop until I’m either dead — and it’s not a challenge — or I get the justice that I deserve, which means everybody gets to hear it. Justice to me is knowing that anybody that wants to see the truth is able to see the truth, absolutely. But there’s so much more to it than that. What’s most important is that these guys are behind bars. You can’t go around hurting children and get away with it anymore.”
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