Alyssa Milano has been one of the staunchest supporters of those who have been victimized by people in powerful positions, popularizing Tarana Burke's #MeToo hashtag campaign so women's stories of abuse and harassment can be heard, and yet she is also a common target for her very outspokenness.
The actress faced Twitter backlash on Sunday after saying she was unaware of any sexual abuse involving then-boyfriend Corey Haim and Corey Feldman during the heydays of their careers as child actors. Feldman has been on a campaign to expose Hollywood's underage abusers, recently revealing the names of two of the men who allegedly assaulted him. Haim died in 2010.
Corey Feldman Says He Named Hollywood Pedophiles in 1993 and Cops Did NothingView Story
While Feldman and fellow former child star Sean Astin defended Milano, a number of Milano's online critics just don't believe she wasn't aware of underage abuse in Hollywood in her younger years. Even Rose McGowan urged Milano to "dig deeper" into her memories.
"Come on. Step out of the system," McGowan wrote of Milano on Sunday (in posts that appear to have since been removed), challenging her to dig deeper into the recesses of her mind. "I think we all need to do some reverse memory forensics. Details count, little things count. They all add up."
Here are some of the other responses Milano received:
C'mon @Alyssa_Milano Show some heart. Support Corey! pic.twitter.com/VJrIraY83M@TMHorv33
@Corey_Feldman. Has tried and tried to expose this and he had no support from anyone let alone her.@IAMOHIONURSE
Now she wants to jump on bandwagon*Sick*
As a former member of the Alphy Soda Pop Club, where is your support for @Corey_Feldman? Do you disavow Hollywood pedophiles?@LawyerMom4Trump
Why aren't you on the streets after the Pedophiles talk to Corey Feldman save children if you care@SeekerofTruth0
@alphyhoffman Is one of @Corey_Feldman ABUSERS. THE LYNCHPIN TO REVEALING MANY MORE CHILD PREDATORS @Alyssa_Milano KNOWS ABOUT #SODACLUB pic.twitter.com/qooeAByQrT@FITE4THEUSERS
Amid the backlash, Milano took to social media to explain. "I was a child who was trying to keep herself safe," she wrote. "I would shield anyone of that kind of pain if I could."
Speaking directly to Feldman, she added, "I'm sorry anyone hurt you. It kills me. Maybe in my attempt to protect myself I was blind to what was happening to you."
Nevertheless, the online assault continued, with many accusing Milano of lying, and still others questioning what she may know and why she chose to only publicly support Feldman now. While Feldman only named his alleged abusers in the past week, he's been talking and writing about the culture of Hollywood abuse for years.
Feldman quickly jumped to Milano's aid on Sunday, tweeting, "Good people, please stop bashing my old friend Alyssa Milano. Yes [Corey Haim] and her dated and yes she came to the soda pop parties and yes we were friends, however she was a very young girl at the time. She may not have known what [Corey Haim] and I endured. However, she has been an advocate."
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Feldman and Haim were known as "The Two Coreys" in the 1980s, fast friends who hung out with Milano and others, often at "Alphy's Soda Pop Club" events that were populated with the child stars of the era, and purportedly linked to underage sexual abuse.
In 2013, Feldman wrote a book where he outlined his alleged abuses, as well as those of Haim. His legal counsel advised him to change the purported abusers' names at that time, but now the actor is crowd-funding a "Truth" campaign to publicly out his alleged abusers and make a theatrically-released film about his experiences.
Recently, after years of only anonymously accusing several men of sexual abuse, Feldman publicly named talent manager Marty Weiss and actor Jon Grissom. Both men have previously been convicted for underage sexual abuse.
'Me Too': 23 Hollywood Stars Alyssa Milano Inspired to Share They've Been 'Sexually Harassed or Assaulted'View Story
Feldman's co-star in "The Goonies," Sean Astin, published an essay on Monday in support of both Milano and Feldman. While he also says he was unaware of any wrongdoing at the "Soda Pop" events.
While throwing his support behind Feldman's campaign, Astin also came to Milano's defense. "I thank Alyssa for reaching out and I offer my affirmation that she should not feel shamed or guilted for some perceived omission of aide," he wrote. "She too was a kid. We all were. And now that we are adults, we have even greater responsibility to one another."
He added, "I am outraged at the Twitter police, the large group of people who feel entitled to chastise others, using the cover of stopping pedophilia as their shield. Shame on any of you who think you are better than anyone else ... There must be a fighting ground that doesn't overwhelm people's lives, but allows them to contribute to healing, prevention and progress appropriate to their experience. If you all don't allow that to happen, people just won't talk."