Corey Feldman was born to a former Playboy waitress and a ’60s musician in a suburb of Los Angeles. Feldman said his parents launched him to success, but it was not his decision.
Feldman wrote about the relationship with his parents, Bob and Sheila Feldman, in his 2013 memoir, “Coreyography.” He claims his parents exploited him, taking him to auditions at age 3 and wrote his mom gave him diet pills when he was only 4. His father hired one of the men Feldman says abused him. Jon Grissom was hired by Bob Feldman as a personal assistant, Corey Feldman writes.
Feldman is naming names in his new documentary, “My Truth: The Rape of Two Coreys” which airs on his own streaming platform at 11 p.m. EST March 9 and 3 p.m. EST March 10. Learn more about the film and how to stream the documentary here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Corey Feldman’s Mom, Sheila Feldman, Was a Playboy Waitress
Corey Feldman’s mom, Sheila Feldman, was a former Playboy Club waitress. He wrote in his memoir, “Coreyography,” that his parents exploited him as a young child, sending him to auditions when he was only 3 years old. He claimed his mom gave him diet pills when he was 4, and that she was sometimes physically abusive.
He wrote that she gave him pills, which she said were caffeine pills. He didn’t like the feeling they gave him, saying they made him anxious and sweaty. Soon, he started selling the pills. She would call him fat and ugly, he said. He only lived with his mother a short time, he wrote in the book.
“I only lasted a month or two at my mother’s,” he wrote. “She was constantly hitting me, (even if I hadn’t done anything specifically wrong, I’d still get a beating on what she called ‘general principles;’ in her mind, there was nothing wrong with administering random beatings just to keep me in line) and had recently taken to smearing Clearasil on my face at night while I was asleep.”
His mom denied the allegations in 2013 during an interview. At the time, she was using the name Sheila Kenner.
“There’s always good with bad,” she said. “It’s not all negative. The business has been very, very good to our family.”
When she had Feldman, she was “just a kid” herself, she said in the interview. She said her son would have been more successful if he had followed her guidance.
“If he had done it properly, he would still be working as an actor, director, and producer,” she said in 2013.
2. Corey Feldman’s Dad, Bob Feldman, Was a Musician Who He Says Was Largely Absent
Corey Feldman’s dad, Bob Feldman, was a musician who the former child actor said wasn’t around for much of his childhood. Bob Feldman was a member of the 1960s band, “The Strangeloves,” which were best known for the catchy hits “I Want Candy” and “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Bob Feldman wrote and produced those hits, according to a 1998 Associated Press article.
The Strangeloves claimed to be Australian, but actually lived in Brooklyn. He had passed himself off as a wealthy sheep farmer.
“I think there’s always been a little of P.T. Barnum in me,” he told the Associated Press.
At that time, he had recently relocated to Nashville, where he was trying his hand at country music.
“I was out on a golf course in Florida and I heard John Michael Montgomery singing ‘Be My Baby Tonight,'” Bob Feldman said in the interview. “And the DJ said, ‘This is the No. 1 country song all across the country.’ I said, ‘That’s country? Then I’m Roy Rogers.'”
3. Corey Feldman Says His Parents Exploited Him to Make a Profit & He Emancipated Himself From Them as a Teen
Corey Feldman said his parents exploited him to make money, using his acting talents and sending him off to auditions when he was only 3. When he was only 4, his mom bleached his hair and put him on diet pills, he told The Guardian in a February 2020 article. He emancipated himself from his parents when he was a teenager.
“Feldman was born and raised just outside Los Angeles, the son of a largely absent musician father and a former Playboy Club waitress,” Hadley Freeman wrote in the article. “According to him, his parents looked at their baby, saw a potential money-making machine and sent him to auditions from the age of three. His mother peroxided his hair when he was four and put him on diet pills just a few years later to improve his chances of getting roles. (Feldman legally emancipated himself from his parents when he was a teenager, just as Drew Barrymore and, later, Macaulay Culkin later did, too. The history of child stars and their parents is rarely a happy one.)”
Feldman described acting as a way to get away from his “miserable home life and occasionally violent parents,” the article went on to say.
He described himself as a “slave child” in a 2016 interview with People.
“I was basically a slave child,” he said told People. “I started working at 3 years old, and it wasn’t my choice.”
In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said his relationship with his parents was broken, so he could not report sexual abuse to them.
“My parents were both very abusive and very selfish and were more interested in what was happening with themselves than what was happening with my life,” he said.
Sheila Feldman, who also used the name Sheila Kenner, denied the allegations during a 2013 interview.
4. Corey Feldman’s Dad, Robert Feldman, Hired Jon Grissom, Who the Child Star Says Molested Him
Corey Feldman met Jon Grissom in late 1986 or 1987 when his father hired him, he wrote in his memoir, “Coreyography.” He described Grissom as “a young, good-looking guy in his early 20s” who was hired to work at New Talent Enterprises. Feldman called Grissom “Ron Crimson” in the book.
“Every time I walked across the street to talk business with my father, Ron would saunter over and manage to say something outrageously funny. We hit it off immediately,” Feldman wrote. “It was almost eerie how similar we were. It was as if he had studied me and was copying my every move.”
Feldman wanted to name Grissom publicly years before he did so. His lawyers would not permit him to use real names in the book, saying it left him too vulnerable. The lawyers gave Feldman options of names that he could use, and he picked “Ron Crimson” because it sounded the closest to Grissom’s real name.
“We had to change the names legally,” Feldman said, according to a 2017 Huffington Post article. “The lawyers made me change the names. … They gave me a list of three or four, you know, names. I picked the one that sounded closest to his name.”
5. Corey Feldman’s Mom, Sheila Feldman, Said in a 2013 Interview Her Son’s Abuse Allegations Were Exaggerated
Corey Feldman’s mom, Sheila Feldman, discounted her son’s allegations of abuse during an interview in 2013. At the time, Sheila Feldman was using the name Sheila Kenner. The interview followed the release of Corey Feldman’s memoir, “Coreyography.”
She claimed during that interview that much of what her son wrote in the book was untrue and told her to “just go along with it.” She said they met before the book was published because he wanted to prepare her for backlash.
“This thing with Corey is getting totally out of hand,” she said in the interview. “I’m stressed, but I’m trying. It’s very hard to deal with. It really is. I just have to deal with it.”
She said in the interview that she had not read the book, but knew what was coming.
“I had a pretty good idea [what was coming in the book] because Corey and I discussed it,” said. “At one point, we went out to dinner. He said, ‘Mom, you’re not going to like what I have to say.’ I said, ‘Corey, I’m probably not gonna like it. I’m gonna be pretty hysterical and I’m gonna know that most of it is not true.’ “‘He said, ‘Just go along with it,’” she claimed. “He told me, ‘I want you to know that you’re just gonna be getting swamped.”
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