Through the years, there has been a long-running feud between Corey Feldman and Judy Haim, the mother of the late Corey Haim. When news of rampant sexual abuse in Hollywood broke in late 2017, Feldman launched his ‘TRUTH Campaign’ to help shine a light on the abuses he suffered as a child in the entertainment industry. As support for the campaign grew, so did media coverage. It wasn’t long before tensions between the two parties reached an all-time high. Each development in the ongoing saga of “The Two Coreys” has been just as polarizing to the fans (or haters) of the iconic 80s actors. It’s comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever stepped foot on social media that when news breaks, everyone is quick to deliver their hot-take.
What is rare in this day and age is to hear from someone who shared a personal connection to both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Corey Feldman’s publicist, Samantha Waranch, certainly fits that bill. In addition to assisting Feldman with the publicity for his nationwide tour, ‘TRUTH Campaign’ and recently announced National Ambassador role for CHILD USA, the seasoned publicist also dated Corey Haim prior his untimely death from natural causes in March of 2010.
Seeing the situation from such a unique perspective (as well as experiencing the infighting first hand) inspired her to pen an open letter to Judy Haim, which can be read below.
Sammi’s open letter to Judy Haim reads:
I’ve always wanted the chance to tell you how much your son means to me. He was my Corey, it was his posters that hung on my wall. I loved his movies, I loved his spirit and by some crazy twist of fate, I had the chance to get to know him a little bit. The time I spent with him was magical and surreal, but also heartbreaking. I saw his amazing heart, his sense of humor and his charm. I also saw his demons, his pain and his ways of numbing that pain. Having said that, when I think of Corey Haim I remember how genuine, kind and talented he was. He loved his fans, he loved his friends and more than anything, he loved you.
In the time we spent, he confided me a little. There are things he told me that go against some things you’ve said. It pains me to say that or to say anything that could cause any pain to the person he loved most in the world, a person who has endured so much. Still, it’s the truth and I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t come straight from him. These are not things that I could have misunderstood. The only thing I feel comfortable sharing is that he told me he loved Corey Feldman. That even though they weren’t speaking at the time, they were brothers. It made my heart happy to hear that they reconciled before Corey Haim passed away.
I’ve known Corey Feldman for about five years now. Our friendship began because we both missed Corey Haim, but then it became a true friendship. For the last two years, I’ve also been his publicist. He hired me to promote his album. I quickly learned firsthand that you were very quick to criticize anything and everything that Corey Feldman does. I know there had been tension brought about from his book and perhaps other things, but I didn’t realize just how much anger you had towards him until I witnessed it myself.
In interviews you stated that Corey Feldman has used your son’s name to stay relevant, but people always ask Feldman about him even when I tell reporters not to. In numerous interviews Corey said he wouldn’t speak about Haim out of respect for you, but when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, all bets were off.
You say that Corey Feldman is trying to ruin your son’s legacy, but the fact is that Corey Feldman is part of that legacy. They will always be connected through their name, their beloved movies, their shared struggles, and demons, but mostly through the strong bond they shared, which is hard to deny. They were, are and will always be The Two Coreys.
When you are famous, much of your life is played out in the public eye. This includes some things you may not wish for people to see. The truth is that Corey Haim’s legacy includes his personal struggles. Lifetime was going to make that movie with or without Corey Feldman. His presence and his book lent more credibility, but lack of credibility hasn’t stopped them before. Just ask Britney Spears. I thought the movie was fair. I witnessed how much heart went into it. The actors worked so hard and researched so much. To me, the movie showed that Corey Feldman and Corey Haim were both good actors with good hearts, but went through terrible things that were NOT their faults. Things that caused them to turn to drugs to numb their pain. Mostly, I thought the film showed their unbreakable bond and how no matter what happened or how long they spent apart, they always came back to each other.
I imagine you must feel an overwhelming sense of loss and guilt. You must constantly wonder where you went wrong and what you could have done differently. Anger is much easier to feel than pain and guilt. I would think your anger would be directed towards Haim’s abusers, but it seems Corey Feldman is the only villain. It seems really unfair to me to blame Feldman for introducing Haim to one of his molesters. Corey Feldman was a child. A child who was also being abused, a child who had no parental guidance. It wasn’t Corey Feldman’s job to protect your son. It was yours.
Corey Feldman is far from perfect. He’s made mistakes and doesn’t always go about things in a way that people agree with or understand. I completely get that, but I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions though. Corey Feldman is not asking for money to name names. He has given all the names to the authorities’ multiple times. He’s working hard to make sure they are brought to justice and the statutes of limitations for these crimes can be changed or eliminated. The money is to make a powerful and shocking film that shows harsh realities and inspires change. You don’t have to support it, but you don’t have to bash it either. I believe firmly that his heart is in the right place.
The Corey Haim that I knew would not want this feud between his mom and his best friend or that hate it has sparked from fans and friends on both sides. Instead of merely preaching about his kind heart and forgiving nature, we could all benefit from emulating those qualities. Corey Haim asked for second chances and he gave them. Despite everything you’ve said about Corey Feldman, including supporting his former angels who have made false and hurtful accusations against him, accusations I believe you know in your heart are not true, he’s still open to reconciliation. He hasn’t forgotten that you are still his best friend’s mother. He loves and misses Corey Haim too. You don’t have to forgive or forget, but you can choose to honor Corey Haim’s memory by spreading love.
I will always be team Corey Haim, but in spite of what your army tells me in their social media attacks, that doesn’t mean I can’t care about and support Corey Feldman as well. So many people (adults and peers) failed your son. Whether it was enabling his drug use or turning a blind eye to it, whether it was cutting him out of their life or being too scared to speak up out of fear he’d cut you out of his life. Whether it was denying his abuse or not encouraging him to get proper help. I know that when Corey died he was seeing seven different doctors to obtain pills he had no valid medical use for. The last time I saw your son was in your shared apartment. He was very out of it and fell asleep with a cigarette still lit in his mouth. I removed the cigarette, put it out and kissed him on the cheek before leaving his room. That was the last time I saw him, he died one year later. That image still haunts me and so does wondering if there was anything more I could have said or done to help him. I wish more people who were close to him would take some responsibility as opposed to placing blame.
Perhaps Corey Haim’s legacy should include seeking justice for his abusers. It should include helping other victims of abuse or helping to regulate the prescription of pills. Maybe it’s merely continuing this conversation in a way that allows kids of abuse to know without any doubt that it’s not their fault and there is always someone they can talk to. I am Corey Feldman’s publicist, but I’m also a person and I care. So much so, that for the first time this situation has blurred the line between publicist and friend that I try so hard to maintain. My hope is that there is some way we can all find some kind of peace and end this feud and the hate that it’s incited. I am happy to help in any way that I can.
Sammi: publicist, but more importantly friend and fan of BOTH Corey’s
** Please note these views and experiences are all mine and don’t reflect the views of Corey Feldman. **