Nobody made me laugh the way Corey did. Corey was that kid in class who gets you laughing and then looks totally innocent when the teacher turns around, and you get the blame.
Even before we did The Lost Boys, I’d heard about him because one of my best girl friends, whom I had a big crush on, had started dating him. I had seen him in the teen magazines, and I had been up for Lucas — a movie I wanted badly — and he’d gotten the part. I was like, ”Who is this kid moving in on my territory?” Then one day he left me this jovial message on my answering machine: ”Hey, what’s up, buddy? We’re going to be doing a movie together. Let’s get together, maybe hang out.”
Lost Boys was a difficult shoot. There was a lot of tension on set, a lot of yelling. The older kids — Brooke McCarter, Billy Wirth, those guys — were having these parties every night; they had tinfoil on their windows so that they could catch up on their sleep during the day. Corey, our costar Jamison Newlander, and I wanted to hang out with them, but they didn’t want us around. So we stayed in the hotel, watching movies, going to the arcade, and we became great friends. Corey and I both came from broken families, and when that happens you create your own surrogate family. We had everything from our own secret handshakes to secret code words to nicknames for each other: Haimster and Feldog.
He was wild. I remember one time breaking into the gym in his apartment building after hours, and?well, it involved a sauna and a blow-up doll. That’s all I can remember. Corey, even at 14, had an overabundance of testosterone. Every girl he met he would fall in love with and ask to marry him, and then within weeks they’d be broken up. He only had one girlfriend who lasted more than a year. We grew up fast, so by the time we became young adults, our demons started to rise up. When we both fell into drugs, I, initially, was the one with the more intense problem. I went through my recovery, but he decided he didn’t want to grow up. I understood why: We’d never had the chance to live our childhoods.
During those dark times he would do awful, selfish things. He did a lot to hurt me. But I would look at him and know what he was going through. I know what it feels like to be on top of the world and then suddenly have nobody returning your calls. He would call me and say, ”You’re my best friend. I need you.” So if he needed a place to stay, if he needed money, I was there for him. What could I do? I loved him.
After the second season of our reality series, The Two Coreys, ended, we had a falling-out. I felt like he was never going to help himself or appreciate what I had done for him. Then, during my divorce, suddenly he was there for me. I was able to be there for him when his mom was going through cancer, and those experiences created a new bond between us.
About two weeks before he died, he spent a weekend at my house and we had a party with friends. The next morning we were all sitting around in our robes and he gave me his hand and said, ”I just want to tell you how happy I am that we’re able to have this time together. I can see the world through your eyes now, and it’s pretty f—ing cool.” I don’t think I’ll ever miss anybody more.