“Requiem: A Memoir of Sex, Madness, and Self-Destruction” is my autobiographical account of growing up with a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic mother who attempted to kill my siblings and I based on a delusion that the devil desired our souls. It also touches on many taboo subjects – from the revelation of childhood sexual molestation, to incest brought about by my brother, who raped our mother under the influence of drugs, and to my bouts of homelessness.
When I arrived in Hollywood in the winter of 2012, I seized an opportunity to adapt my story into film. Yet, beneath the façade of glitz and glamour there was a prevalent theme of systemic sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry. And with it, powerful executive suits who love abusing their power, through means of sexual coercion, sexual assault,and often times through the lure of drugs. The sickness is not in the actions occurring so nonchalantly in front of your face, it is how many victims – men and women both alike – have been silenced.
It is now the spring of 2014.
I meet an author from San Francisco one night out in Hollywood. We talk about our books and exchange numbers. A few days later, he sets up a meeting for me to meet his brother. It turns out his brother, who I’ll refer to as “Blake,” is a former executive producer of network television affairs for over 20 years at one of the six most powerful studios. His reputation is such that he has opened many doors for so many people in this town. I call Blake, and he invites me to his home for a meeting.
At his bungalow near the Hollywood Hills, Blake escorts me into his office.
Surprisingly, on his desk is a copy of my book.
Sitting down, we have a conversation around the nature of my memoir – the rawness and redemption of it. After discussing the specifics of the book, he offers to represent me as his client. We go over a contract stating that when the time comes for a producer to attach himself to my story, Blake is entitled to take 5% off the top of all of my gross earnings from the endeavor.
Blake says, “Let me give you advice on how to make it in this town. You’re going to make it, Fredy. Why? Because you have charisma and that x-factor; on top of it, you’re a damn good talented writer. You write like Alan Ball. You will have it all! I will make you your first million of millions, from my lips to God’s ears!”
I’m stunned and overwhelmed. Inside, I feel as if my turn had finally arrived. I express immense gratitude to Blake, surprised at the effortlessness of the meeting, and get up to leave. As I make my way to the foyer beyond his office, I turn around to say a final thank you when I notice an abrupt shift in the energy of the office. It shifts from business-like to sexual. His gaze reveals a desire I have grown accustomed to. My experience with men kicks in, as I know he is interested in me.
Blake’s shallow breathing and inability to speak take me aback.
“Something wrong?” I ask.
Blake licks his lips and manages to say, “Fredy…you’re very handsome.” (To continue reading, click here)