Wanna know how to get me upset?
Wanna know how to piss of a victim of abuse? Wait until another person goes public about their abuse, and then suggest that they’re just doing it for money for fame.
I don’t think people grasp the concept that not everyone wants to be famous. Not everyone is looking for that 15 minutes. Some people just want to be heard. They want justice. They want to right a few wrongs.
Everytime I see a new person who is being investigated, for just a minute, I’m so happy that others are following in my footsteps, and are taking on the high profile untouchables. But that joy doesn’t last very long, because it only takes a few minutes for the doubters to come out. All the people who think the only reason a person would ever speak up is because they want to be the next Kim Kardashian, or they want to pad their bank accounts.
Except for me, I can’t recall the last public figure who actually named another public figure, and then went to court. Corey Feldman spoke up about the industry, but didn’t name specific people. There’s a few others in the US who have spoken up, but unfortunately, the US has a statue of limitations. If a person doesn’t press charges pretty quick, then it just becomes slander if they name someone. Over here, people will speak up to let others know it’s happened, or is still happening. I have spoken to several other former kid actors over here in the US who have been through abuse. Some spoke up, some didn’t. They all know how terribly hard it is to live with, being judged. Every little thing you say will be over analyzed, picked apart, recorded, and then, if you’re lucky enough to make it to court, it can and will be used against you. Ever drunk tweeted Simon Cowell? Well, you can bet your arse that will come up in court. Ever said you thought a certain party would be fun to attend? Oh, you must be making up a story of abuse so that you can hob nob with the other actors then.
Most public figures simply don’t say anything. They don’t want to get involved. It’s messy. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t help your career. Not all publicity is good publicity. Corey has been steadily working for years. Not box office gold, but he’s still working. Think his going public about him and Haim being abused helped his career? Pfth. He copped so much shit after that, I’d be surprised if he ever talked about it again. Imagine trying to speak up and have Barbara tell you “You’re ruining an entire industry.” Think I helped my career by standing up? I was slowly finding my place in life. I was just getting my shit together. Then I went public. I couldn’t make a comeback to TV if I wanted to these days. No one would hire me. I was asked to do Celebrity Apprentice the first year, but my “minders” told me not to do it, because it would look bad if we went to court. Now it’s over, I won’t get anything either. There’s not a lot of work for people who speak up against their own. Right now, it’s “too soon” after court. Next year, I’ll be long forgotten.
As a public figure, you’re not supposed to talk about how hard the journey is, in case others who are thinking of speaking up hear you, and decide not to. There’s so much pressure to constantly say the right thing. Everyone is watching, waiting. So many people put demands on you. They’ll all use your name publicly, as if they’re right there with you, when in most cases, they haven’t checked in on you for months. When it’s over though, they all give you a pat on the back, publicly of course, then move on to the next cause. You’re left standing there, life in tatters, not knowing where to go, who your friends are, or what to do next. Can you do what you want now without people watching and speculating? If you decide to go back to TV, will it be used against you in an appeal? Will people come out and think, well, she must have been planning this all along? Or do you just go crawl back under the rock you were dragged out from? Give up on everything? Some days that seems much easier.
So if it’s that hard for people who are used to the public scrutiny, I can’t imagine what it would be like for a non public person. Funny though, with all these people pointing foul, and claiming anyone speaking up must be doing it for fame or money, I couldn’t name a single person off the top of my head who has spoken up against Robert, Rolf, Jimmy, Max or now Cliff. Can you? Do you know who any of these people are? There are literally hundreds of people who went to police about Jimmy Saville. Hundreds. Can you name any of them? What about Rolf? What about Robert? Do you even know how many people were involved in the Robert investigation? Think it was just the five that went to court? Nope. That’s just the ones who had enough evidence the police could lay charges. There was more. Many more of us. But apart from his niece, who didn’t get charges laid, do you know who any of them are? Do you think we somehow all came out of this four year ordeal better off? Are we now all rich and famous? Are we driving around in Bentleys, on our way to the Yacht Club? Are we drinking with the hipsters in Ibiza? Am I back in Oz, working on a TV show? Better still, did I manage to convert my infamy in Oz to a career in Hollywood? Yeah, cause that’s just what a producer here is looking for…. A has been child star from a foreign country who pressed charges against her on screen dad, while implicating her producer and network. Gosh, I have no idea why I don’t have people from Hollywood offering me stacks of cash for a reality show. – Yes, that was sarcasm. (Which you’ll learn you need to point out for when your blog posts come up in court)
What about any of the other cases? Are any of those people better off? Have they made a wad of cash? Are they on Oprah? Or DWTS? Or anything?
No. Nobody presses charges against a celebrity for sexual abuse to better themselves. At least not financially. It certainly doesn’t help with your street cred either. It just makes people uncomfortable. Nobody knows what to say in front of you. People at work will be paranoid that you’re now the sexual harassment lawsuit girl. People will think you magically got a bunch of money. Not sure where from. I didn’t get any victims of crime money. The govt slashed it while the police were investigating. Robert’s lawyer made a big deal about spreading the rumor that his client was bankrupt. (Of course, he’s still got enough for an appeal though) Not that I could sue anyway. While there’s no statute for criminal charges, one for a civil suit passed well before we went public. We can have the dates waived with a court order, but after being through court once, I doubt most people have the energy left to fight again. I know I don’t. I do hope all the girls in the Rolf Harris case can band together for strength and follow through on their case for compensation. They probably won’t get much after lawyers fees, etc, but hopefully it’s enough they can pay for counseling, or at least a time out to de-stress from the court proceedings.
I know I’m rambling on at this point. I guess all I really want to say is, before you open your mouth and declare that someone must be getting unfairly targeted for being a singer, actor, sportsperson or whatever, stop and think. Do you even know who the victim is? Do you know anything about them at all? Do you have any idea of what they’ve been through, or what it must be like for them to now be speaking up? Do you really think there’s anything to be gained by them pressing charges? Most importantly, when you open your mouth with your doubts, who else are you hurting? Are you questioning your own loved ones? Would they have told you something that was happening to them, but now won’t, because they think that you’ll think they’re just making it up? Are you passing judgement on a friend who may have been through abuse, but hasn’t shared that with you?
When you declare someone must be doing it for fame or fortune, it says a lot more about you than about the victim. It says that it’s something that you’d consider doing. That whole thing about robbers being worried about being robbed, or hitmen being killed, cheaters being cheated on, etc…
Most of us just want to stop the pain. We want to make it right. We want an apology. We didn’t make a consensual sex tape that “accidentally got leaked”. We were abused, against our will. We’ve already been stripped bare and had our emotions played with. We don’t need it again while already going through a shitty experience. Don’t be that person who pokes someone who’s already on a ledge.