Former child actor and Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has claimed that Hollywood has an extensive history of child sex abuse, saying in a new interview that there “are a lot of vipers” in the industry.

Speaking to British newspaper the Sunday Times compared the instances of unnamed child sex abuse allegations in America to the Jimmy Savile scandal that shocked the United Kingdom in 2012.

“You all grew up with Savile,” said Wood. “Jesus, it must have been devastating. Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised. There are a lot of vipers in this industry – people who only have their own interests in mind.”

Elijah WoodElijah Wood gave a forthright interview in the Sunday Times at the weekend

Wood, now 35, began his film career as an 8 year old, and said that although his mother had been looking out for his own best interests and shielded him from the inner workings of the industry, many fellow child stars he knew had been regularly “preyed upon”.

“There is darkness in the underbelly,” he told the newspaper. “If you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”

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Allegations against senior figures in Hollywood have been slowly increasing in recent years. In 2012, former child actor Corey Feldman said he frequently felt threatened by older men in the industry, while the long-standing allegations against director Woody Allen surfaced once again at the Cannes Film Festival this month as a result of his son Ronan Farrow’s essay in The Hollywood Reporter.

Amy Berg’s documentary movie in 2015, An Open Secret, alleged collusion in the film industry over historical child molestation. Wood feels that there will be more allegations to come, and believes that they’ve been un-investigated for so long because victims “can’t speak as loudly as people in power”.

“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people. They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged,” he said. Furthermore, he believes that such crimes are still being perpetrated because the dynamics of Hollywood are still the same.

“From my reading and research, I've been led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening,” he said. “If you're innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed, people with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”

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