Hours after the death of former teen star Corey Haim of an apparent drug overdose, the late actor’s “best friend and brother” delivered an emotional appeal for the entertainment industry to better support its child stars once they’ve grown up.
“I’m angry. I’m hurt and sad,” Feldman told CNN’s Larry King on Wednesday. “I appreciate the fact that everybody really cares and is trying to show their expression of sorrow right now. But at the end of the day Larry, where were all these people the last 10 years, the last 15 years of Corey’s life?”
Feldman, who shot to fame alongside Haim in a string of classic ‘80s films including "The Lost Boys" and “License to Drive,” said his friend never got the support he needed when his life took a turn for the worse. While both actors struggled with drugs, Feldman said it was tougher for Haim to kick the habit – with the onetime tween heartthrob spending his last days at age 38 living in squalor while caring for his mother.
“He didn’t even have a car,” Feldmam said. “Where were all these people to lend a hand out to reach out to him and say ‘you’re a legend, you’re an amazingly talented, wonderful person, who’s really never gone out of his way to hurt anybody other than himself?’"
The "Stand by Me" actor added: “In this entertainment industry, in Hollywood, we build people up as children. We put them on pedestals. And then when we decide that they’re not marketable anymore we walk away from them.”
Despite Haim’s troubles, Feldman said his friend had been seeking treatment from an unspecified specialist and was poised for a career comeback. Feldman said he’d last spoken to Haim three or four days ago with the actor in the “best frame of mind he’s ever been.”
"He was actually giving me some advice about something that I was upset about," Feldman said.
Feldman, who reportedly bailed on the pair’s reality TV show “Two Coreys” because of Haim’s drug problem, cautioned against jumping to conclusions over the exact nature of his friend’s overdose.
"At the end of the day, until the coroner's report comes out, until we have specific evidence, until we know exactly what the toxicology reports say, nobody knows and nobody's going to know [how he died]," Feldman said.
In the CNN interview, Feldman also revealed that Haim’s family is planning a “sizable memorial.”
“I would like to see Hollywood pay their respects,” Feldman said.