Elijah Wood, who starred in the Lord of the Rings films, claims that Hollywood has been gripped by cases of sexual abuse similar to the Jimmy Savile scandal in UK.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Wood, 35, sympathised with British victims of Savile and said: “Jesus, it must have been devastating.”
The 35-year-old said paedophiles were shielded by powerful figures in the film industry and claimed that the abuse was organised.
He said his mother protected him from abuse when he arrived inHollywood at the age of eight and he didn’t attend the type of parties where such incidents occurred.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” Wood added. “There is a darkness in the underbelly – if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
Wood said abuse prevails because victims are unable to speak as loudly as those 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.”
Anne Henry, the co-founder of Bizparents, an group set up to help child actors, said Hollywood is currently sheltering about 100 active abusers and said a “tsunami” of claims was emerging.
Corey Feldman, another former child actor who played 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.