Elijah Wood was just eight years old when he started acting in Hollywood, so he's had a lot of time to get to know the ins and outs of the industry. And sadly, now aged 35, he knows more than he'd like. In an interview published by UK newspaper The Sunday Times Wood claims that Hollywood has experienced a similar child sex abuse scandal to the Jimmy Savile one that rocked the world in 2011.
"You all grew up with Savile - Jesus, it must have been devastating," he said to The Sunday Times. "Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised." While the actor thanks his mother for keeping him away from such predators, he is quick to point out there are others who have not been so lucky. "There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind. There is a darkness in the underbelly - if you can imagine it, it's probably happened."
When questioned whether he believes it is still happening, Wood says he thinks so. "From my reading and research, I've been led down dark paths to realise that these things probably are still happening," he said. "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." His comments are backed by Anne Henry, the founder of child actor support organisation Bizparents, who claims that Hollywood has a long history of paedophilia and the current heavyweights are protecting "100 active abusers".
It's not the first time the entertainment industry has been accused of covering up paedophilia. Former '90s child star Corey Feldman has been open about the abuse he suffered as a teen "What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can't speak as loudly as the people in power," says Wood.