After inadvertently becoming a focal point of a flurry of reports about child sexual abuse in Hollywood, actor Elijah Wood said he didn’t mean to imply that he had personal insights into the problem.
“The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film, but the story became about something else entirely,” said the star of “The Hobbit,” who is a former child star. In that interview, Wood was asked about alleged U.K. child abuser Jimmy Savile and responded, in part: “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind.”
He added: “There is darkness in the underbelly. If you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
“The quotes have been picked up by dozens of news outlets with stories framing Wood as having coming clean about dark and long-held secrets,” THR reports, citing a headline by the Daily Beast that reads: “Elijah Wood: Hollywood Is Full of Pedophiles.”
“But Wood tells THR that his comments have been wildly misinterpreted, and that his only knowledge of child sexual predation in Hollywood comes from news reports and the 2015 documentary film ‘An Open Secret,’ directed by Amy Berg,” THR reports.
Wood told THR: “Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated. But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no firsthand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.”