The personal testimonies of five former child actors/models gives An Open Secret its gut-punching impact, as many detail the terror and confusion they felt falling victim to the managers, publicists, and agents they trusted. They recall the uncertainty of not knowing how to defend themselves against the older predatory mentors who were also helping guide their careers, many of whom spent years “grooming” the youngsters and their parents to earn their trust.
All of the now-older victims report feeling distraught, intimidated, traumatized, and even suicidal. Many of them turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with the abuse, or quit the industry altogether to sever ties to their poisoned dreams.
Actor and musician Evan H., the film’s unspoken hero, tells of the first time his manager, convicted sex abuser Marty Weiss, molested him in a park after taking him and several young boys out for a game of basketball.
“He was really immature and we were all immature back then, he would crack sex jokes and I didn’t think anything was wrong with it,” Evan says of the talent manager who’d ingratiated himself into his family gatherings and helped him land early gigs. “We would play basketball and he would make weird jokes like, ‘Evan, do you know what a blowjob is?’”