The New York Police Department and District Attorney's Office in 1975 launched an investigation dubbed Operation Together which looked into the mob control of gay bars and underage boy sex rings, and among its disturbing allegations was that Hollywood film director and writer James Bridges hosted notorious sex parties which were stocked with jail bait and attended by household names in the entertainment industry according to a retired NYPD officer with whom I spoke several years ago who worked undercover on the case.
Although some results from my interview with the retired officer previously have been published on Friends of Ours and in my book The Mafia and the Gays, to this point I have resisted identifying the names of those allegedly involved in the pedophile ring uncovered in Operation Together. However, as I continue to read about the plaintive pleas from 1980s child star Corey Feldman for a thorough investigation into a pedophilia problem among the Tinseltown crowd, I no longer will remain silent about allegations that have come to my attention from credible law enforcement investigations.
In an explosive 2011 interview on Nightline Feldman alleged that he was molested at the age of fourteen, and his long-time friend Corey Haim who recently died after struggling with drug addiction was sexually abused by an unnamed "Hollywood mogul" who "needs to be exposed." Just last month Feldman told The Hollywood Reporter "that I would love to name names," and "if somebody came forward with a suit against one of these people [who molested me], I would certainly be more than happy to back them up." Feldman further stated that one of his abusers is "still prominently in the business today."
By identifying allegations from the Operation Together investigation I hope that Feldman and other victims may be emboldened to come forward with the names of their alleged abusers. Indeed, perhaps an advocacy group or plaintiff's attorney will file a Freedom of Information Law request with the NYPD and District Attorney's Office for all files from Operation Together which identify several suspected pedophiles according to the retired NYPD officer with whom I spoke. My own requests for the material were rebuffed, and litigation will be necessary to force their hand in producing the files.
At the time of my interview with the retired officer who worked undercover in Operation Together he asked me not to disclose his name, and I will continue to honor that request. However, he advised I otherwise was free to disclose all information he relayed. Upon retiring from the force the officer took with him copies of 800-plus pages of reports he personally filed in connection with his work on Operation Together.
One of the principal targets of Operation Together was Seymour Seiden who was a gay man and alleged front in gay bars for the Genovese family, and among the many watering holes in which he had supposed involvement were the Sanctuary and Hollywood. The Sanctuary at 407 West 43rd Street was the first modern gay dance club and an alleged mob drug drop, and closed by the city in 1972. Seiden's partner in the Sanctuary was Shelley Bloom who was murdered in March 1972 the night before he was to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a South American cocaine-smuggling network. Seiden's last hurrah was gay hustler bar Rounds at 303 East 53rd Street which opened in 1979 until shuttered by the NYPD in 1994 although Seiden had died from AIDS several years earlier in April 1988. Charles Scaglione was a partner in Rounds, and he insists that the place had no mob ties notwithstanding Seiden's earlier associations.
The retired officer with whom I spoke stated that that while working on Operation Together he spent a lot of time undercover as a gay clone in the city's bars and did substantial surveillance including out on Long Island and Fire Island. In the course of his investigation the NYPD officer advised me that he learned about sex parties with underage boys that allegedly were being hosted at a place on the Island by Hollywood film director and writer James Bridges. Bridges had been nominated for an Oscar for The Paper Chase which was released in 1973, and later directed The China Syndrome for which he also received an Oscar nomination, Urban Cowboy and Bright Lights, Big City. He died at the age of 57 in 1993 from kidney failure after a cancer diagnosis according to his family. The officer staked out Bridge's place, and the attendees were obviously underage boys and household names in the entertainment industry to whom he referred as "the child fuckers." James Bridges was not the only name with which I was provided by the retired officer.
In 1977 Operation Together was shut down by "top brass" over the objections of assigned investigators and ADA Paul Flaxman as they were on the verge of bringing indictments because they allegedly were implicating individuals at the highest levels in New York City politics, power and society. Maybe this is why there still is so much resistance among New York lawmakers for reforming the statute of limitations by which victims of childhood sex abuse can bring claims.
James Bridges did not write and direct gay films but in 1984 he did release the curious Mike's Murder. In their book Bisexual Characters in Film authors John Dececco and Wayne M. Bryant describe the film as follows:
Mike is murdered and his girlfriend, played by Debra Winger, wants to know why. She investigates his life and discovers that Mike had stolen a large quantity of cocaine from the wrong man. In the process, she also learns that he had been a street hustler and the boy-toy of a famous record executive.
The film could have been a creative riff from the files of Operation Together.
This is not my last post on the subject, and further allegations will be forthcoming. In the meanwhile, Corey Feldman should reach out to the FBI who will keep his contact and disclosures confidential, and the FBI should obtain the NYPD and NYDA files on Operation Together.
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