Bombshell documentary about Hollywood pedophile ring preying on child actors that's been linked to X-Men director Bryan Singer premieres in New York.
Published: 15 November 2014
Uncomfortable topic: Director Amy Berg attends New York premiere of her
controversial documentary An Open Secret about child sex abuse in Hollywood
A controversial documentary that allegedly links X-Men director Bryan Singer to a gang of Hollywood pedophiles got its first – and possibly only – viewing in New York last night.
An Open Secret contains the astonishing revelation that a major child star was sexually abused by X-Men actor Brian Peck but refused to speak out for fear of wrecking his career.
Whilst there is no suggestion that Singer was involved in the abuse of the unnamed actor, Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg admitted she had yet to find any company willing to distribute the disturbing 100-minute film.
Stopping short of saying that Hollywood was protecting its own, Ms Berg confessed that even small movie festivals had refused to show An Open Secret.
‘We have this one screening. Maybe we will get distribution but it is not very likely,' she said. ‘But people will talk about it.'
The documentary – discredited after one of the major accusers filed, then dropped lawsuits against Singer and three other men -- finally aired at the Doc New York festival before 400 people in a quarter-empty Chelsea theater.
Singer, 49, gets several mentions in the film. He is shown in archive footage discussing X-Men and his inspirations, yet only once does his young male accuser Mark Egan allege impropriety.
Former child actor Egan filed lawsuits against Singer, TV executive Garth Ancier, Broadway producer Gary Goddard and ex Disney honcho David Neuman in California and Hawaii earlier this year alleging wide-scale sexual abuse, only to dramatically drop the action a few months later.
Egan is one of the major voices in the documentary and claims Singer, who vehemently denies the allegations, was one of the big players at drug-fueled male-only parties.
Emotions running high: Evan Henzi, 21, who had accused talent manager
Marty Weiss of grooming him for sex abuse, wept throughout the movie.
Photo-op: Amy Berg, second from right, poses with (L to R) Paula Dorn, Anne Henry,
Evan Henzi and Anita Henzi at DOC NYC at the SVA Theater Friday
He alleges he and other young boys were urged to get naked in a hot tub with Singer and his middle-aged entertainment industry friends.
Amy Berg refused to cut Egan, who also sued another group of Hollywood players 10 years ago alleging similar abuse, from her documentary.
‘He puts Bryan Singer at the party,' she told MailOnline. ‘He talks about him being at the party.'
Asked about 31-year-old Egan's rocky history filing, then dropping, lawsuits, she snapped: ‘I met him two years ago and I am not changing my film.'
Berg, 44, uncovered large-scale sex abuse in the Catholic Church for her Oscar-nominated 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil.
The initial premise of An Open Secret was to follow the lives of five aspiring child stars whose innocence was destroyed by predatory older males in Hollywood.
Now adults, they tell how a network of Hollywood agents and managers including Bob Villard, who represented Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey McGuire when they were children, abused them.
Villard was later convicted of selling images of young boys on eBay.
Hollywood's wall of silence: Berg (center) said she has
been having trouble finding a distributor for her film
Changing the culture: Anne Henry (right) started the organization
BizParentz to help families of child actors navigate the pitfalls of Hollywood
Berg's film revolves around an early web TV company called Digital Entertainment Network and its owners Marc Collins-Rector, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce.
Major Hollywood players including Singer, David Geffen and Arianna Huffington's gay ex-husband Michael invested $150million into the company, according to the documentary.
Collins-Rector, Shackley and Pierce threw lavish parties where young boys were encouraged to drink and take drugs before mandatory skinny-dipping sessions in the swimming pool and hot-tub.
Naming names: Actor Brian Peck (left), who had a role in Bryan Singer's (right)
X-Men,is named in the documentary as one of the major abusers.
The boys claimed Collins-Rector, who later fled to Spain before being jailed for child abuse, hinted he could have people ‘eliminated' and would derail the careers of anyone who spoke out.
Egan, who filed lawsuits against the DEN owners a decade ago, did not attend the New York screening but two other accusers, Evan Henzi and Joey Coleman, did.
Henzi, 21, cried throughout the film and fought back tears when he told MailOnline how talent manager Marty Weiss had groomed him for abuse.
Coleman, who appeared in Growing Pains, confronts one of his alleged abusers Michael Harrah, a Screen Actors Guild child rep, in the documentary.
X-Men and Return of the Living Dead star Peck, a close friend of Charlie Sheen, is named in the documentary as one of the major abusers.
Accuser: Michael Egan III, pictured in April after he filed lawsuits against
four Hollywood figures, appears in the film and recounts the alleged abuse
he witnessed at pool parties hosted by internet company bosses.
Lawsuit: Egan, pictured left as a boy, accused X-Men director Bryan Singer, right,
of abuse but later dropped the lawsuits after it emerged he had given
inconsistent stories. Singer has always denied the abuse.
Change of heart: Egan filed a lawsuit against ex Disney executive
David Neuman (pictured), but later dropped it.
Anne Henry, who set up BizParentz to help families navigate the pitfalls of Hollywood, claims that a major child star filed charges against 50-year-old Peck anonymously.
‘People don't want this out,' she said. 'Brian Peck moved to Nickelodeon. He befriended a pretty major child actor, who filed charges against him.
‘Peck pleaded guilty. The victim was anonymous so he was able to continue to work.
‘The kid who wants to speak out would have to give up their career.
Named: The film also looks at accusations that Marc Collins-Rector,
an internet company owner, pictured, hosted pool parties
for men and young boys.
‘Peck is still working on kids shows and he has been convicted.'
Henry slammed the handful of convictions as ‘the tip of the iceberg,' questioning how Peck could continue to work with children.
Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges also talks in the documentary about abuse he suffered as a child star and Corey Feldman is seen in archive footage discussing his own experiences at the hands of older Hollywood men.
The documentary also flashes up a clip of Home Alone star Macauley Culkin discussing his career with David Letterman.
Perhaps the most disturbing story in the documentary involves Mark Ryan, an aspiring model from Cincinnati, Ohio, who turned to drink after being abused in Hollywood.
His parents, Fred and Jane, appear throughout the film, initially proudly showing off Mark's high school sports photos and modeling shots.
Then as the film progresses, they talk about how he returned from Hollywood withdrawn and broken.
After attempting to give up booze cold-turkey, he suffered an alcohol-withdrawal seizure and is now confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak or feed himself.
His friend Egan is seen visiting him at the nursing home, where he needs 24/7 medical care. And his father is in tears as he recounts finding legal papers in Mark's bedroom recounting the sexual abuse he suffered in Hollywood.
Some filmgoers who saw Friday's screening believe if Berg had concentrated on Mark's story she would probably have had another award-winning documentary on her hands.
Instead, An Open Secret has become tangled up in Egan's allegations against Singer, whose girlfriend, Michelle Clunie, is expecting their first baby.
Familiar faces: Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges (left) also talks
in the documentary about abuse he suffered as a child star and Corey Feldman (right)
is seen in archive footage discussing his own experiences.
Accused: Marty Weiss, a talent agent, pleaded no contest in 2012
to two counts of committing lewd acts.
His lawyer Martin Singer, who is not related to the Usual Suspects director, told MailOnline: ‘My client and his representatives have not seen the movie.
‘It's disappointing and sad that Amy Berg would rely on the word of Michael Egan, a proven liar, who recently was admonished by a federal judge for lying in court.
‘Egan continues to lie about our client. He has no credibility at all and can hardly be considered a reliable source for Berg's so-called documentary.'
Source: 'Daily Mail'
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