They are two men who will not speak to each other, share the same room or even pose together for a single photograph. They grew up like brothers and were closest confidants. But now neither can discuss the other without bitterness and rage.
This is how bad things have gotten between Corey Feldman, 37, and Corey Haim, 36, the two ’80s idols known for being best friends on-and off-screen. Among the most famous teen actors of their era, they are forever linked by their names and the score of youth movies they made together, including the Gen X cult classic The Lost Boys. But the pair also experienced shockingly traumatic childhoods, marked by exploitation, molestation and drug abuse.
That history has been laid bare on The Two Coreys, a reality series on A&E that reunited Haim and Feldman and exposed their rapidly disintegrating relationship. During the show’s second season, both actors confessed that they had been sexually abused as kids: Feldman by a man hired to be his assistant, Haim by a 42-year-old man he won’t identify. Not long after those startling revelations, Haim suffered a relapse in his 20-year battle with drug addiction.
Feldman, a recovering heroin addict who has been clean for more than a decade, says he had no choice but to cut ties with his costar, motivated by equal parts tough love and self-preservation. “As a friend and somebody that cares deeply about the guy, I am not going to watch him destroy himself,” says the Goonies star, who is now married to model Susie Feldman, 26, and father to son Zen, 3. He has not spoken to or had any contact with Haim in over six months.
But Haim has his own story to tell, claiming that Feldman could have done more to protect him from the molestation he endured. “Corey is a fake friend,” says Haim, who claims he’s been sober since before Coreys wrapped six months ago. “[Now] he’s being very vindictive and malicious.”
On the same day—but at opposite ends of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley—both men talked to PEOPLE’s Oliver Jones about their poisoned friendship, the toll of teen stardom and why the painful past they share is now tearing them apart.
COREY FELDMAN: ‘I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE’
ARE YOU REFUSING TO SPEAK WITH COREY HAIM IN AN EFFORT TO SPUR HIS SOBRIETY?
I don’t know if I would glorify my actions quite that much. First and foremost, it’s about my family: I don’t feel that he’s a safe person to have around my wife and child at the moment, for a multitude of reasons.
HE BLAMES YOU FOR THE SEXUAL ABUSE HE SUFFERED AS A KID.
That’s bs. I think that he needs to demonize somebody. As a 14-year-old, how could I be responsible for actions that happened between him and another person?
DID YOU KNOW COREY WAS GOING TO BRING UP SEXUAL ABUSE ON THE SHOW?
No. When he did, my jaw hit the table. I couldn’t believe he’d do that. This stuff is very private, very personal.
WHY DID YOU ADMIT TO BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED YOURSELF?
He threw it out there, and it was my way to make him feel better about what he had just done. What he said was shocking, and troubling. Afterwards, off-camera, he’d pull me aside and go, “What did I just say? I can’t believe I just did that!” I couldn’t believe it either, but I’m proud of him because it was obviously something holding him back in life. It needs to be dealt with.
WHO MOLESTED YOU?
Somebody who befriended me, who was working for me. His job basically was to be my chaperone, my adult supervision. He would come in at night when I was asleep, and I would wake up the next morning, and he would act like we were buds. At age 14, how do you digest that?
AS A KID, YOU WERE BEFRIENDED BY MICHAEL JACKSON.
It wasn’t Michael Jackson who molested me, but he did do real damage in my overall life. I was a 12-year-old boy who was hurt by his family and ignored by people at school. Michael would sit and talk to me for hours and he would listen. Then he would get bored. The biggest thing that Michael’s done to children is befriending the ones that are in need and then abandoning them. “Hey, I love you, I’m here for you, anything you need, you call me, I will be there for you.” Then the very next day, the number’s been changed. As a 12-year-old kid, that’s a pretty hard one to comprehend. That’s the karma he’s paying off now.
WAS SEXUAL ABUSE WHY YOU STARTED TO USE DRUGS AT 15?
Part of it, but there was a lot of pain in my life. As a child my life was hell. I had no friends because I was the geek, the outsider. I was told I was fat. I was told I was ugly. There was mental abuse and physical abuse—anything you can imagine. I was beaten with sticks, toilet seats. The beautiful thing is now as a father I get to make up for all that. That is my healing.
WILL THERE BE A THIRD SEASON OF THE TWO COREYS?
No. There can’t be until he gets it together, period. I will not do a third season or anything else with the guy until he has done what I feel is a full course of treatment. As his friend, I can’t do this anymore.
DO YOU THINK THAT HE WILL EVER FULLY RECOVER?
I haven’t given up hope yet. There’s hope as long as he’s still breathing.
COREY HAIM: ‘I’VE LEARNED TO ASK FOR HELP’
WHY DID YOU DROP THE BOMBSHELL ABOUT BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED?
It was time for me to reveal some things that happened in my life, basically that I was molested at a young age and I felt like I let it happen, man. I had come to terms with this a long time ago, but then, obviously not. I’m still working on it. Stuff happens when you are a kid; it scars you.
DO YOU STILL CARE ABOUT COREY FELDMAN?
You know somebody for so long, you are always going to have a special little something in your brain for that person. So I will always love Corey Feldman, but I lost 105 percent respect for him and his wife. His beautiful son Zen has nothing to do with this.
WHY BLAME HIM FOR YOUR CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE?
He said, “I’ll always have your back.” But he knew that there was a rape issue going on with me for about two years, and what did he do about it? Nothing.
YOU SAY YOU ARE SOBER NOW. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
It was a real eye-opener for me to see myself [using drugs] again on the show. When I was 22 years old, that was one thing. But you don’t want to be doing this when you’re 35 years old, 36 years old. It’s embarrassing and shaming for people to see me like that.
WHY DID YOU RELAPSE?
I’m human and I have had some major, major things happen to me in my life. That’s no excuse at all for taking a drug, a pill, a drink, you name it, and I know that. But at the same time, I was going through a lot of stuff—life is what it is—and I had a slippage. It happened, and it’s over, pretty much. When I say pretty much, I mean I’m on a program now, a good, solid, two-times-a-week program.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SOBER?
Ten months now. So I’m on a good path. Every day is going to be a new day.
IS IT AS HARD AS YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE?
It’s harder, man; it’s harder. But you have great moments of clarity: I’m talking colors, I’m talking sounds, I’m talking, you know, my friend’s laugh. It feels like raw bacon getting stripped out of every cell of my body. But it takes about a year, they say, to get back to normal.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT’S GOING TO STICK THIS TIME?
Of course I’m going to feel fragile, because I’ve been on stuff for a long time, you know. But it’s becoming more and more solid. So I have my support and I am starting to attend AA meetings. My support group is enlarging because I’ve learned to ask for help.
WILL YOU EVER PATCH THINGS UP WITH COREY FELDMAN?
I’m not even thinking about that right now. I’m thinking about me: my career, my future, my life. I’m thinking about putting a Band-Aid on a 20-year addiction and moving on—not just a Band-Aid, but putting cement on it so that it will never come off.