“It’s a healing
message for all the women and girls in the world who have not yet found
their strength. It’s there, and Dawn’s story proves it.
Her story is a miracle. She is a miracle. I am proud to know her.”
Foreword by Kate Bosworth:
“Dawn, I thank you for
sharing your story not only with me, but with the many people who will
now take strength from your brutal honesty. And who will be encouraged
to not only survive but, like you, to thrive.”
When James Cox, the director of the 2003 film Wonderland, told me he cut the scene where John beats me after selling me off to Eddie Nash for drugs, I felt as if John were choking the air out of me again.
Why would James do this?
He was honest with me: It was because the audience couldn’t handle seeing John hit me. They wouldn’t “like” John or be sympathetic to him.
I went home after the premiere and listened. I waited to hear comments from my family and friends. Mostly, no one said anything, which told me a lot.
And my family—well, in
general, they just nodded and said, “That’s not what I remember.” Buried
in their memories was the fear of losing me—their daughter, sister,
aunt, and niece; of never seeing me again; of finding out I had been
beaten and raped, devastated by drugs, or sliced up on the streets because
John had control of me.
Where was the story of how I had escaped with my life from a man who was so self-seeking and ravaged?
I never wanted to tell this
story . . . about my past with John . . . about my “secrets.” It
took a private investigator who found me some sixteen years after the
murders to convince me to tell my tale. This was the catalyst for me
to dredge up so much pain.
John did a lot of things to me—broke my bones, my heart, my innocence, my skin—but in the end, from where I stand today, he did a lot more. Through his name, the king unknowingly gave me the power to use my voice—to speak out and raise hope for many other thrown away and abused young women and girls.
If you thought you knew the story of Wonderland—if you thought you knew who John Holmes was—think again. I am here to tell you the story of those dark years in Hollywood behind the legends that others have tried to tell. This is the story of someone real who was there. This is my story, written for my daughter, Jade, and revealed to give a voice to those who were silenced and will never have the chance to be heard.
I pray for the
angels who have gone before me,