I never liked Corey Haim. Growing up I used to see him and his buddy Corey Feldman in movies and on TV, usually acting obnoxious in some way or other. Smug. Brash. Cocky. Just a few words to describe this duo. They were The Corey’s. Teenagers given too much money and fame too fast. As a teenager myself growing up in the 80’s they had everything that I wanted. Money. Girls. Fame. But like them or not, they were a product of the 80’s, and I own the Coreys every bit as much as I own the 80’s as my teenage formative years. So Corey Haim was a part of my generation.
You often wonder what makes these young stars so wild and crazy. I used to wonder if Corey Haim was always like that. In a manic state, floating from party to party, girl to girl, gig to gig. Somewhere it all stopped, and we didn’t hear much about Corey Haim anymore. It was almost like he just got swept under the rug of Hollywood, like so many child actors are. He hit the peak of his life before the age of 18 years old. How does one go on living knowing that the best has already past them at such a young age?
I thought that this was probably Corey’s struggle. You hit it big, then you are yesterdays news. What do you do with the rest of your life now? I didn’t know that there was much more to this story.
A few years ago A&E aired a reality show called The Two Corey’s. It reunited Corey Haim with his old pal Corey Feldman after all these years. Cameras followed them around as they were making what was supposed to be their triumphant comeback filiming the sequel to the classic vampire flick The Lost Boys.
From the opening episode it was apparent that time hadn’t been very kind to Corey Haim. He was unemployed, slovenly, and an addict. His behavior was erratic. He couldn’t keep himself together. Corey Feldman struggled to find a way to keep his friend afloat. In the end, his drug-induced anxiety led to Corey being almost completely written out of his last comeback movie.
Now Corey Haim is dead. Probably because of a drug overdose, but probably from so much more.
I scoured the internet to see what people were saying about Corey. One media source cited Corey’s 2007 Nightline interview where he admitted drugs hurt his career. Or his 2004 Sun interview where he admitted that he smoked his first joint on the set of The Lost Boys. Another outlet offered how his cocaine use led to crack. In his Larry King interview in 2007 he explained how he was “a chronic relapser for the rest of (his) life.”
All of these reports coming out covering his prescription medication and drug abuse, as if this was the explanation for why Corey is no longer here. I couldn’t believe how we all missed it completely.
The answer to the question of why took me back to the The Two Coreys. In one episode, they decided to see a therapist together. Corey Haim and Corey Feldman shared a terrible secret. An adult friend of Feldman’s raped Corey Haim. A friend Feldman kept around after knowing what he did. During the therapy session you could see the pain that this had caused Haim.
Just for a brief moment I understood what underlied this cocky and obnoxious persona I resented back in the 80’s. The drugs only masked the deeper pain that none of us male survivors ever want to deal with.
But Haim did deal with his trauma in the only way that men know how. In 2008 he explained, “It’s something that will be addressed in my inner soul for the rest of my life, and it’s something that truly affects me . . . It’s just like, it happened, it’s over, and move on. Let’s move on to the next subject.”
But he never could.
Corey Haim, the Lost Boy, passed on March 10,2010. A drug overdose is suspected as the cause of death.
Tragic. The causal relationship between childhood sexual abuse and drug addictions is ironclad. Should anyone wish to learn more I highly recommend Dr. Gabor Maté’s recent book ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction’.
Powerful piece. It highlights clearly why to many of us have shorten lives. Lives filled with unresolved emotional pain .. you should try and get the article placed in US newspapers and magazines .. it deserves to be read widely ..
thanks for the timely and informative article. corey haim will be truly missed and I never knew about the abuse , no wonder that the drugs seemed to be his only answer, too bad he didn’t find the help he really needed to get over the past and move on to a bright future…the Corey’s will always be a part of our gen x. long live the 80’s! corey haim, rest in peace!
Learning that Corey Haim was sexually abused leaves to me know doubt why he turned out the way he did.
Sexual abuse, and the destruction of oneself through drug and alcohol abuse go hand in hand for many abuse survivors.
I know, because I am one.
Theoren Fleury was a professional NHL hockey player who also went down the same path as Corey Haim, but was able to seek out help, and clean himself up. Not before he completely destroyed his career, though.
Dealing with sexual abuse is difficult for oneself. Coming to terms with it is the hardest thing to do. Many resort to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to bury unwanted memories.
I never really liked Corey Haim, but now that his sexual abuse has been pointed out, I now can relate to him. I am saddened that another life was ruined by sexual abuse.
Help is out there.
I remember that episode of the Two Coreys, the one where they’re in therapy and Haim shares that secret. It made what was going on with his behaviour make so much sense. I remember turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with what was going on in my own life, luckily I was able to “get sober” and so far have stayed there. When a celebrity is “busted” for drugs I always wonder what the trigger was for the drugs in the first place.
RIP Corey Haim.
Chris, this is a wonderful article. So true, so touching, and your insight is piercing. I hope people will WAKE up.
Very well written article and thanks so much for sharing as I believe that many people need to be aware of the past that surrounded the life of Corey Haim. Whether it was an overdose from drugs that killed him, as another male survivor, I truly believe that the pain and anguish of having to live in a world of harsh stigmas/taboos associated around male victims of sexual violence is the main culprit.
Of course Corey resorting to drugs and the lifestyle he lived did not do him much justice today but if that is what he had to do to mask the pain then I for one can relate to him 100%. As much as it is sad to see something of this nature happen to another male survivor, I do know that he is no longer hurting and now we can use his story to continue in breaking down the stigmas/taboos and shattering the silence of male sexual violence!
I too remember that episode and it really hit me hard. My husband is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, what this does to kids is the most damaging thing in the world. The fact that his best friend knew and stayed friends with the abuser really is upsetting, but also from what I got from the episode Feldman was also abused. I worry everyday about kids that this happens to, my husband is a grown man in his 30’s but can break down, be emotionally weak. Some people deal with the emotional part with drug abuse. I am so sad Corey Haim was unable to get the help he needed despite everyone that tried. I think facing his abuser may have helped him overcome things. I wish him peace and happiness in heaven. I will always remember him from Lucas (filmed near my home)and how sweet of a boy and what a good actor he was. God be with anyone who has to endure this type of pain.
I found your link on Corey Feldman’s blog.
Very well said…
I blogged about Haim yesterday.
I blogged about Feldman today.
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Crazy. I was a super fan of Corey’s work. He will be remembered.
It’s a pity that people like Erik Davis at Cinematical and some of his commenters don’t share the awareness and compassion of Chris and his commenters. The post on Corey Feldman’s comments about Haim during his Larry King Live interview (http://www.cinematical.com/2010/03/11/haim-and-feldman-were-working-on-license-to-drive-trilogy/) didn’t look at the whole picture and reinforced the stigma and unrealistic expectations made of male survivors:
“One thing that upset me, though (aside from the fact that we’ll never get to see License to Fly and License to Dive .. ahem), is that Feldman actually had the nerve to blame all of us for not taking care of Corey Haim when he needed help. No, Haim shouldn’t be responsible for his own actions — instead, Feldman was upset that none of the people who were pouring nostalgic love on Haim following his death seemed to be there for the man right before his death, when he was living with his mother in an apartment with not a dollar to his name.
I’m sorry, but when did it become our job to make sure this kid remained clean? Did we not want him to appear in that cruddy Lost Boys sequel? Were we not supportive of every opportunity both Feldman and Haim had to reunite either on the big or small screen? Did we not watch and make fun of it all every step of the way? Dude, we were there. We’ve always been there. But at some point you have to man up and take responsibility for your life. You need to get clean and get your act together. That’s not our job; it’s his.”
Sadly, its seems my comment calling attention to the bigger picture of Haim and Feldman’s sexual child abuse experiences didn’t fall just on deaf ears, but ears that think 80-90% of child sexual abuse allegations are simply false.
When I learned that Corey Haim had been abused I was disgusted. Not just at the fact that he was abused, but that Corey Feldman continued to stay friends with both HIS abuser and Haims. Being a sexual abuse survivor, I can relate. I too numbed my horrific memories with alcohol abuse and even when drinking, I still never forgot, nor will I ever forget. I was molested by 2 different people in the same year and 1 was a family member. Even after an apology from 1 of the 2 abusers, it had been 20 years since it happened and I had to get “wasted” before I saw this “family” member. I am now sober 4 years now, but the pain and flashbacks, NEVER leave you. It made me angry and still does that certain VERY close family members still associate with 1 of my molesters and I can relate with Corey Haim being angry at Feldman for still remaining friends with both abusers. It almost makes you feel as if that person doesn’t/didn’t care enough by remaining friends with a monster(s). It doesn’t make sense to me and I am sure it didn’t make sense to Haim. So, not only was he dealing with the demons of the abuse, but also dealing; trying to decipher as to why someone who supposedly cares about you would still be friends with or in contact with a monster. To me, I do consider child abusers Monsters and I am sure Corey Haim had mixed emotions as well. He was abused and his best friend stayed friends with both Monsters. It may be hard for people to understand, unless you have been a victim. The pain never goes away and most survivors do mask the abuse with alcohol or drug abuse. You just want to magically forget it ever happened and move on, but even with being intoxicated, the memories, pain and fact it happened never goes away, sober or not. My heart goes out to Corey Haim and I hope there is peace for him now. RIP…
Great write. Thank you for sharing.