Elijah Wood has claimed that Hollywood is in the grip of a child sexual abuse scandal.
The actor who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings said that Hollywood has been been gripped by cases of sexual abuse similar to the Jimmy Savile scandal in Britain — and that the child abuse is ‘probably still happening’.
He told the Sunday Times that there were “a lot of vipers in this industry…there is darkness in the underbelly”.
He also said that his mother had protected him from abuse when he became an actor at the age of eight years old but said other young actors had been “preyed upon”.
The Mail Online reports:
Shocking allegations that top Hollywood figures have been protecting child abusers have circulated widely in recent years.
Several industry figures have been convicted following claims of sex abuse and former child actors – including The Goonies actor Corey Feldman, 44 – claimed he was ‘surrounded’ by molesters when he was a teenager.
Anne Henry, co-founder of Bizparentz – a group to help young actors – said that Tinseltown is currently sheltering around ‘100 active abusers’.
Wood, who stars in his new film The Trust told The Sunday Times that his mother had protected him from abuse when he first arrived in Hollywood aged eight.
But he said: ‘I’ve been led down dark paths to realise that these things are probably still happening.’
The actor, who played Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings, believes that other actors remain in danger.
He added: ‘If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed.
‘People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power.’
Wood was talking to the Sunday Times about Jimmy Savile, a British entertainer who sexually abused dozens of victims over five decades.
He was knighted by the Queen and his crimes were only revealed after his death, despite years of rumor and innuendo and led to allegations of a cover-up by government figures and broadcasting chiefs.
Henry believes that around three quarters of child actors that ‘went off the rails’ later in their life had been abused in Hollywood.
She said: ‘This problem has been endemic in Hollywood for a long time and it’s finally coming to light.
‘Very bad people are still working here, protected by their friends.’
In the last 10 years, several wealthy and significant people involved in the industry have been convicted.
Some have left prison and returned to Hollywood and continued to work with children.
Wood, who now knows he was lucky to avoid being abused, compared the allegations in Hollywood to the claims linked to Savile following his death in October 2011.
Wood said: ‘You all grew up with Savile – Jesus, it must have been devastating. Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised.
‘There are a lot of vipers in this industry. There is a darkness in the underbelly – if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.’