The actor spoke candidly of sexual-abuse shame, fame excesses and unrelenting addictions
Even through punishing shame and addiction haze, Corey Haim could always find the words to articulate his demons – no more so than in 2008, when he opened up to PEOPLE in a candid interview that foreshadowed his continued struggles and tragic end.
“I’m a chronic relapser,” Haim, who was then 36, said at the time. “I guess I always will be.”
Here is Haim in his own words, chronicling his experience with an all-too-familiar Hollywood storyline: Early success as a child actor, which brought money, fame and substance abuse. He also delved into the rift with fellow actor and longtime friend Corey Feldman, with whom he had an A&E reality show, The Two Coreys, which documented their lives during two seasons.
• On an episode of sexual abuse he suffered around age 14: “I was very, very awake and very ashamed of what was going on, how I put it, I was just … coming into Hollywood, man, [I was] just a horny little kid, like on drugs, getting fed drugs, man, by vampires.”
• On recovering from that situation: “I still blame myself to an extent, but my conscience is much, much more clear. I have come to terms with this a long time ago but obviously not [totally]. Stuff happens when you are a kid, it scars you inside for life.”
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• On his early fame: “I was buying $300,000 cars, like $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 cars. So if I was making those decisions – and I was making those decisions – it makes me wonder about myself, but when you are a kid, you are a kid. So I have to forgive. It is in the past.”
• On his long hiatus from the spotlight: “For eight-and-a-half years, I was just watching movies, and just staying in bed and just eating food and just, you know, being just miserable.”
• On sobriety: “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. So there are days where you’re really offbeat, and there’s days where you’re very, very, very clear, too clear … You have great moments of clarity: I’m talking colors, I’m talking sounds, I’m talking, you know, my friend’s laugh, I’m talking everything.”
• On his relationship with Corey Feldman: “You know somebody for so long, you are always going to have a special little something in your brain or wherever for that person, you know what I mean. So I will always have that with him.”
• On staying clean: “I’m going to be 40 years old and still on drugs, you know? So people slip, and I had my slips, and it’s the past, so I’m not going to look back and just go hey, don’t dwell on it, I’m going to move forward.”
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