Just as Conrad Murray was released from prison Monday after serving two years for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, a child star who knew Jackson well says the King of Pop may have been behind his own death.
“I think that he was much more involved with it himself than people would like to know,” Corey Feldman told ABC News’ Bianna Golodryga. “And I don’t mean an accidental drug overdose. I mean I think this whole thing was done with a message.”
Feldman, the former child star known for his roles in such ’80s films as “Stand by Me,” “The Goonies” and “License to Drive,” said that Jackson used to heap praise on him, calling him “the next Marlon Brando.”
“That was the most amazing feeling in the world, you know, having the person that you idolize, that you respect for their talent, tell you that you’re right up there with him,” Feldman said. “What an honor.”
Feldman, 42, who has written a new memoir, “Coreyography,” said his relationship with Jackson, a father of three, was an escape from the alcohol and drug abuse that riddled his life starting at the age of 14.
“I was afraid he’d be mad at me when he found out,” Feldman said of Jackson. “He never cursed, did drugs.”
Feldman’s own struggles began, he said, in childhood when his parents separated and left him, a 7-year-old, as the family’s sole breadwinner.
“There was nobody else to bring in the family income as far as I knew,” he said. “Here’s the bottom line, children should not be part of the work force.”
“The thing that I think is wrong is putting children on a pedestal, making them stars, treating them like they are some powerful force,” said Feldman. “That is where it gets very iffy. ”
Even though Feldman battled addictions, he said it was not drugs or alcohol that were the biggest threat to Hollywood’s youngest stars.
The actor, and father to a 9-year-old son, said the biggest threat for child stars is pedophilia. He said the trauma of pedophilia contributed to the 2010 death of his closest friend and “The Lost Boys” co-star Corey Haim.
“People wanted to make sure that our reputations were flawed,” Feldman said of himself and Haim. “That way, when we were old enough, wise enough, mature enough, we would be silenced before the truth came out.”
“Corey and I, since the age of 16 years old, when the people in Hollywood who were responsible for the things that were happening realized that we were becoming very popular, and very successful, made sure to squash that popularity by elaborating on our downsides,” he said. “[They were] exuding our flaws as opposed to quieting them, as most of Hollywood does.”