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2016-05-23

Elijah Wood says Hollywood has a paedophile problem

The former child star likened the film industry’s “dark” history of organised sexual abuse to the Jimmy Savile case

Elijah Wood, a former child actor himself, has said that Hollywood has a “dark underbelly” with child sex abuse and paedophile rings, drawing parallels with TV personality and abuser Jimmy Savile, and the scandal that rocked Britain.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Wood referred to the case of the late child entertainer and said: “You all grew up with Savile. Jesus, it must have been devastating”. However, he then went on to say Hollywood too has a “lot of vipers”.

The 35-year-old alleged that there was “organised” abuse, and said that the paedophiles were protected by other powerful figures in the industry.

Wood earned his first movie role when he was just eight-years-old, but said he was largely protected by his mother who would not allow him to attend parties, because she was more concerned with “raising a good human” rather than facilitating a career.

However his peers recounted being regularly “preyed upon” at events hosted by industry insiders. He added: “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood”.

Wood said victims of abuse were continually brushed aside by the industry because they “can’t speak as loudly as people in power”. “That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people. They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged,” he asserted.

This is not the first time such claims have been made. Cory Feldman, another previous child star who starred in Gremlins and The Goonies during the 80s, said as a young teenager he had been surrounded by abusers who has been “leching around like vultures”. The actor went on to suffer mental health problems, alcoholism and drug addiction.

Wood’s claims come shortly after wider allegations of corruption in the film industry. Speaking at Cannes last week while promoting her new film Kitty, Chloe Sevigny opened up about her “creepy” audition experiences with mainstream directors throughout her career.