Ricky Garcia is featured in the powerful new documentary directed by Brian Herlzinger called ‘(My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys.’ The documentary focuses on the former child actor Corey Feldman and late actor Corey Haim, who opened up in 2007 about the sexual abuse they both experienced in the industry as children.
The documentary features an interview with Garcia, a former Disney child actor who filed charges against his manager in 2019. Although Ricky Garcia filed a lawsuit in September 2019, he has not previously discussed the charges publicly.
Here’s what you need to know about Ricky Garcia:
1. The Lawsuit Alleges Garcia’s Manager Joby Harte Raped Him Repeatedly for Many Years
Ricky Garcia’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in September 2019 in Los Angeles, in which he alleges that he suffered abuse for years at the hands of his talent manager Joby Harte, from Hot Rock Media, USA Today reported. The lawsuit names Joby Harte specifically, as well as four entertainment companies and four other people. It states that the sexual abuse started when Garcia was 12 years old.
The lawsuit says this abuse began when Harte spoke to Garcia about sexuality, eventually getting Garcia intoxicated. At that point, the lawsuit claims Harte stripped him and sexually assaulted him. This apparently continued for years, and by the time Garcia reached 16 this was happening almost every week.
Garcia’s attorneys, Ben Meiselas and Michael Popok, released a joint statement to USA Today after the lawsuit was filed. “Our client, Ricky Garcia, was a preteen and teen music and acting star in the making.” The written statement continues: “Tragically, and as alleged by him under oath in the complaint, high-powered male entertainment industry executives, led by his former manager Joby Harte, who were responsible for nurturing his career, instead sexually preyed on his economic and emotional vulnerability, and sexually assaulted and raped him. In twisted fashion they inflicted injuries and shame on our client that have derailed his promising career and that will take him a lifetime to recover from.”
The lawsuit added that not only did Joby Harte sexually assault Garcia many times over the years, but also “groomed” him and passed him around as a “sexual plaything” to his colleagues.
2. He Posted a Message of Support on Instagram to Other Sexual Assault Survivors
Apart from his appearance in Corey Feldman’s documentary, Garcia has not really spoken about his story. When the lawsuit was filed and the allegations were made public, Garcia posted about it on Instagram.
His photo text reads: “Today was one of the most difficult days of my life. It was through the support of my family, friends, all my supporters, and most of all God that I summoned the courage to speak out against the executives who sexually abused me as a child. Sadly, I know my experience is just one of many and I hope my actions today will help others who experienced abuse to know that they are not alone and that there are people in this world fighting for them.”
He also added a caption saying what was more important than getting justice against the people who manipulated him was encouraging other survivors to find their voice and speak up. He said “this is about saving anyone else who feels like they don’t have a voice, because I can tell you this. YOU are not alone.”
3. He Was a Disney Actor Who Is Known for Roles in ‘Bigger Fatter Liar’ & ‘Best Friends Whenever’
The 21-year-old had a few small roles until he landed a regular spot on “Best Friends Whenever” from 2015-2016. He also had a major role in “Bigger Fatter Liar” as Kevin Shepard, and the series “Red Ruby” in 2019, when he played Ian.
Along with Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson, Garcia was nominated at the 2017 Teen Choice awards for comedy movie actor for his role in “Bigger Fatter Liar.”
He has also appeared in a few episodes of Netflix’s “Alexa & Katie” playing the role of an inexperienced musician along with his bandmates from real-life group Forever in Your Mind.
4. He Is a Former Member of the Boy Band Forever in Your Mind
Garcia auditioned for the third season of “The X Factor” talent show when he was just 14 years old. Although he did not make it past the boot camp round, Simon Cowell recognized his talent and formed the group Forever in Your Mind along with two other musicians.
Their first EP, “FIYM,” was released in 2016 and they followed that up with “Euphoric” in 2018. They have performed on tour with Demi Lovato, Jesse McCartney and Fifth Harmony and also appeared on national television in 2016 on “Good Morning America.”
One of the members, Emery Kelly, is currently on the Netflix series “Alexa & Katie.” In the second season of the show, Garcia and fellow bandmember Liam Attridge appeared alongside Kelly as musicians auditioning for Kelly’s band. Forever in Your Mind has not released any music since 2018, and it’s unclear if they have disbanded or if they’re simply on hiatus.
5. He Was Born in Puerto Rico on January 22, 1999 & Has 2 Older Brothers
He was born January 22, 1999 in Puerto Rico, the youngest of three children. He has two older brothers, who were also born in Puerto Rico. He was born on a U.S. military base because his father was serving in the Navy there. The family then relocated to Texas, where Garcia grew up.
This is a video where he talks about his childhood, his journey as a musician and his friendship with bandmember Emery Kelly.