Corey Feldman and Corey Haim’s rise to stardom in the late 1980s is intimately chronicled in the new Lifetime movie, A Tale of Two Coreys, set to premiere on Jan, 6.
Feldman (played by Elijah Marcano and Scott Bosely) first met Haim (played by Justin Ellings and Casey Leach) on the set of 1987’s The Lost Boys, and went on to collaborate on a total of seven movies together, including License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. The two quickly became teen heartthrobs, but with their on-screen success came a wealth of secrets and trauma kept behind closed doors. As Feldman states in his 2013 memoir, Coreyography, he and Haim were allegedly sexually abused by Hollywood executives and personalities.
With Lifetime’s A Tale of Two Coreys — of which Feldman praises the “phenomenal” young actors, Elijah Marcano and Justin Ellings, who play he and Haim — Feldman hopes to give viewers a personal look into the abuse he and Haim faced — as far as television will allow, that is.
“Because it is a TV movie they couldn’t go into specifics—like when it came to who Haim’s actual abuser was, we had to sugar coat that and present it in a more TV applicable that way,” Feldman, 46, tells PEOPLE, adding that he feels the network was respectful considering the circumstances. “It’s like putting a G rating on an X-rated storyline. There was a lot of sex and drugs that were a part of the story which obviously you can’t show on television.”
Haim tragically died of pneumonia at age 38 in 2010, three years before Coreyography was released. The LAPD subsequently launched an investigation into Feldman’s allegations (though the statute of limitations had expired) and Feldman is currently accepting donations to fund a film about his life that will tell “the whole story” about the alleged predators who targeted he and Haim. Though he had the idea for years, Feldman felt compelled to make the film happen once the Harvey Weinstein accusations made headlines.
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“We were in the midst of our tour, and all the sudden the Harvey Weinstein thing broke. I tried to put blinders on,” he says. “But every time I’d go on social media, people were asking me, ‘What’s going on? Are you going to name names? Now’s the time.’ Eventually, I just felt the pressure after about a week of it.”
Between the memoir, subsequent police investigation, and the Lifetime movie, Feldman admits it’s been difficult to relive his childhood traumas at times.
“Even more painful has been reliving it all while going through this TRUTH Campaign and actually having to go an speak to the L.A. Police Department and giving them a full detailed account, and talking about it on talk shows and stuff,” he says. “That’s been pretty intense for me. I would say, if anything, that’s been the most painful thing of what I’ve been doing now.”
While he has opened up to the public about his experiences, Feldman says he has also been transparent with his teenage son, Zen Scott Feldman.
“He pretty much hears every conversation I have,” Feldman says. “We’re very open and very, very, often communicate.”
Though Feldman would like to go back to his career full-time someday, he says the work he is doing now to find justice for those who have been abused is too significant.
“I am staying busy with my music and acting, but this is much more important than that,” he says. “Right now, I think we’re in a very crucial time in this world.”
Feldman adds that he is grateful for the peace he’s found today in helping others. It has allowed him to recover both mentally and physically from the sexual abuse and drug addiction so early in his life, which caused him to seek intensive therapy at just 19 years old. Since then, Feldman’s life has been focused on both healing and health.
“They’re old scars,” he says. “I’m not going to say it doesn’t affect me at some core level, every once in awhile it does. I feel like I let so much of the hate just roll off my shoulders. I have found a peaceful life.”
A Tale of Two Coreys premieres Jan. 6 on Lifetime