Update: Elijah Wood is clarifying that he does not actually have first-hand knowledge of child sexual abuse in Hollywood, after a new interview with the Sunday Times seemed to imply so.
"The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film, but the story became about something else entirely. It prompted a number of false and misleading headlines," the Trust star told The Hollywood Reporter. "I had just seen a powerful documentary and I briefly spoke with the reporter about the subject which had consequences I did not intend or expect. Lesson learned."
The actor continued, "This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly invested. But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no first-hand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond the articles I have read and films I have seen."
It’s not all glitz and glam. Elijah Wood, who kicked off his acting career at age 8, gave a candid answer when quizzed about a new documentary about underage sexual abuse in Hollywood.
In an interview with the Sunday Times on Sunday, May 22, the Lord of the Rings star, 35, was asked about An Open Secret, a film about child sexual abuse in Hollywood.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” Wood said before comparing the alleged abuse in Hollywood to that of the Jimmy Savile scandal in the U.K. Since the BBC star’s death in 2011, hundreds of people have come forward accusing him of sexual abuse; many were children at the time.
“You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” Wood told the Sunday Times. “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized.”
Wood, who made his film debut in Back to the Future Part II in 1989, noted that his mother protected him from any potential abuse when he was a child star, banning him from attending “the type of parties where such incidents occurred,” according to the Times.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,” he explained. “If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed. People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
He added, “There is a darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”