The already murky story of whether former child actor Corey Feldman was abused by Hollywood pedophiles decades ago just got more complicated: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has just found evidence it previously said it didn't have.
Feldman, a child star from “The Goonies,” “Stand By Me” and “The Lost Boys,” has been saying for years that he and other child actors were sexually abused as minors by a pedophile ring in Hollywood.
He claimed he told his story to detectives in Santa Barbara County — and named names — in 1993, but they weren't interested. Feldman says they were busy investigating pop icon Michael Jackson for alleged child sexual abuse on his nearby Neverland Ranch (Jackson was acquitted of charges in 2005 and died in 2009).
More recently, the sheriff's office said they didn’t have any record of Feldman naming a suspect in his allegation that he was sexually assaulted. Now the story has changed.
The sheriff's spokeswoman, Kelly Hoover, issued a statement to USA Today on Wednesday confirming the sheriff's office had just found an audio recording of a 1993 interview of Feldman by detectives and has turned it over to the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Following the recent inquiries into the Sheriff’s Office interview of Mr. Feldman in 1993, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office conducted an additional review for any stored items remaining from the Michael Jackson investigation," the statement said.
"In a container which included the original reports from the (Jackson) investigation, the Sheriff’s Office located some detective working copies of audio recordings made during the investigation. A copy of Mr. Feldman’s interview was located. The recording is being turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department."
Then the sheriff's office zipped up: "Due to the fact that this case involves the alleged sexual abuse of a child, we are unable to comment further and any documentation or evidence related to this case is exempt from release" to the media.
One of the many confounding aspects of the Feldman case is that it's not clear why he reported his allegations in Santa Barbara County if the alleged abuse took place in Los Angeles County. Also, there was initial confusion about whether Feldman told the Santa Barbara Police, which serves only the city, or the sheriff's office, which serves the rest of the county.
Feldman's sordid story of a long-running pedophilia ring targeting child actors is back in the headlines in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals currently consuming Hollywood and taking down scores of powerful industry leaders.
Feldman has been telling anyone who will listen, most recently in a November appearance on “The Dr. Oz show” about what he says happened to him and his friends. And he's started naming names after years of not doing so. He's even crowd-sourced a quarter-million toward his $1 million goal of making a film about pedophilia, which he labeled the "the No. 1 problem in Hollywood."
He also took his story to the LAPD, which confirmed it was investigating Feldman's claims and then almost immediately closed down its investigation. The LAPD said in a statement Nov. 9 that the California statute of limitations had expired on Feldman's allegations and detectives had no further avenues to pursue.
It's not clear whether Santa Barbara's belated discovery of a 24-year-old audio recording of detectives' interview of Feldman will change anything. Police in Los Angeles declined to comment on the development.
Feldman's rep did not respond to a request for comment.
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