As disturbing as this is to hear, it is not the first time I have come across similar information, which seems to run rampant in Hollywood in particular. Sex, when not used for pleasure, is most often used as a tool for power, so when the typical, insecure pervert feels the need to exert themselves over someone, it comes as no surprise that they choose the most helpless victim: a child. Following this reasoning, the solution to keeping the rape quiet is to choose a family member, who almost certainly will keep the information hush-hush, as they are both a) ashamed, and b) trust their attacker, so would see their speaking out as a betrayal.
Suffering the indignities and shames of such a situation, of course, breeds inner demons, which the victim is forced to deal with for the remainder of his or her life. It is no wonder that so many souls turn to artistry to deal with and exorcise their deep pain and confusion. The list of those who have martyred themselves on the silver screen after such attrocities is long indeed.
Margarita Cansino, aka Rita Hayworth, was molested by her own father (Eduardo) at the tender age of 13, while the two were touring on the road. In a dancing duo with Eduardo, Rita not only had to endure the exhausting rehearsals and routines he put her through, but when they began traveling, away from her mother, Rita was also forced to fulfill other "obligations." Supposedly, the first night the incest occurred, Eduardo was drunk and didn't know what he was doing, but that didn't stop him from repeating the act numerous times after. As a result, Rita developed into a shy, self-effacing woman who barely spoke above a whisper. She would repeatedly fall into the hands of numerous controlling men, including the eccentric Orson Welles. She would do anything to please the men in her life, and when she couldn't, when her relationships failed, she always thought it was her fault. The true Rita was a far cry from the sensuous, forceful vixen she portrayed on the silver screen. It was only there, in bright lights, that she had the sexual power and that she controlled men. It was only there that she was worshiped; in life, the men she worshiped, and trusted, were the same ones who debased and humiliated her. Perhaps the Alzheimer's she suffered from in later life was a godsend- blocking out all the painful memories from her past.
One of the most recent massacres of innocence was suffered by River Phoenix. River was born into a hippie, free-loving family that soon entered a cult known as the "Children of God." Among other things, this "community" taught its followers to love God, love each other, and have sex as often as possible to celebrate the beauty of the body and unity of the human spirit. Sounds innocent enough, except they also instructed children to "experiment" with each other as often as possible, until they reached the age of fifteen. Then they were to abstain until marriage... at which point they could have sex as often as they liked and with as many partners as they wished. Couples were encouraged to swap partners, parents were encouraged to sleep with their own children, grandfathers with granddaughters, etc. etc. etc, because it was all about "Love." River would later recount losing his virginity at the age of four, though he later claimed he had been joking, probably at the instruction of his agent. Over the years, friends have reported that he revealed being molested by his own mother, and God knows who else, during this time at the COG.
Later, River's parents would recognize the "corrupt nature" of the community, and high-tail it out of there. But, the damage had already been done. River, and most probably his sister Rain, had already been corrupted. Joaquin, Summer, and Liberty, who were all born post-cult, may have been saved from these experiences, but who knows. All his life, River would have a close, and some say uncomfortable, relationship with his mother, Arlyn, whom he always referred to as "Mommy." A sensitive child, River would always be more concerned about pleasing others than pleasing himself, which revealed itself in his generosity and attention to animal rights. Forced to be a breadwinner, River was single-handedly keeping his family fed, and though his parents preached "love love love," it seems a little odd that they should put so much pressure on a child's shoulders. We all know how his story ended. While acting provided a good outlet for his demons for awhile, he was later unable to quell his personal tragedy, and took to drugs and alcohol. The sidewalk outside The Viper Room will always be famous as the place where River Phoenix OD'd.
It is sad what human beings do to themselves, punishing themselves for sins not their own. We all feel alone, rejected, ashamed... But had Clara, Rita, John, or River had the confidence to reach out, I am sure there would have been no end to the people that would have helped them. Sadly, it is much harder to see our beauty and strengths than it is our flaws. These actors used their onscreen personae to reveal their vulnerabilities, their weaknesses... But refused to do so in life. Actors on stage, and actors off. I can only hope they are at peace at last.