Joy

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seventeen

“Thank you for meeting with me, Miss Leder.”

“I still don’t get what you want. But thank you for using voice instead of filming me. I don’t like being filmed.”

“That’s okay. I want to make sure you’re comfortable.”

“What is this about? What’s this interview for?”

“I’m a film school graduate, and I’m making a documentary about Joy Daisy.”

“[long pause] I don’t know what you expect me to know about her, I only worked with her for a few months back on Bonky Wonky.”

“I have… some difficult questions for you. That may or may not directly relate to her.”

“[long pause] What kind of questions?”

“You were on Bonky Wonky for three years, until you were eight years old. Joy’s mother told me that Joy ‘aged out’ at eight, or that’s what they told her when she finished on the show. Is that what happened to you?”

“Yes.”

“So she started at four years old, and a few months later, you hit eight and left the show?”

“Yes.”

“I came across a form from the early twenty-twenties-”

“I don’t know what you found, but it’s fake. There are a lot of fake accusations out there.”

“It’s your accusation. Your signature is on it. Abigail Leder. Right here.”

“[long pause] It’s fake.”

“I saw a throwaway comment in a forum about Mark Albatross. I was curious, so I searched, and my search led me to this form. Just the one. It was never reported on, never in the news, or if it was, it’s been scrubbed clean of the internet, which is pretty impossible. Somebody paid a lot of money to make this go away.”

“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”

“Look, I’m not a cop. I’m not a lawyer. I’m nobody. I’m just a guy who’s researching a serial killer. A serial killer who may or may not have been sexually abused as a child.”

“How am I supposed to know if that happened to her?!”

“Because this claim form says it happened to you.”

“[long pause] I’m not supposed to talk about this.”

“I don’t want to force you to talk about things you don’t want to. If you tell me to leave, I’ll leave. It wasn’t my intention to hurt you.”

“Well, what is your intention?”

“I’m trying to understand Joy.”

“Why? Why care about her at all? Because she was famous? Because she killed a bunch of dudes? Making a documentary about some Canadian kid’s show star isn’t going to skyrocket your film career.”

“That’s not why I’m doing the documentary.”

“Then why? You come here to dredge up old shit? How many people have you harassed for your obsession? You said you talked to her mother? What kind of person are you?”

“Miss Leder, I’m incredibly sorry. I really didn’t come here to upset you. I won’t use this footage in the final cut and we can end this interview. I really am sorry.”

“[long pause] You seem sorry.”

“I am. I wasn’t sure if I should speak with you or not but it was the only lead I had on this issue.”

“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”

“You keep saying that. Is it that you don’t want to, or that somebody else doesn’t want you to?”

“Alba-Ferrier Studios have ruthless lawyers. They could ruin my parents.”

“If you can prove they paid off your parents so that you’d lie-”

“How?! Can you tell me exactly how I’d do that? How in a justice system that protects child rapists, one person, a woman, no less, can stand up to a big tv studio? When money can buy silence and freedom and I don’t fucking have any of it? Who the fuck are you, Mister Film School, to tell me what I can and cannot do?!”

“[long pause] I’m sorry this happened to you.”

“You keep apologizing like it’s your fault.”

“Because people like me let it happen. Let it happen to you and probably to others.”

“Yeah, well, none of it matters now. It’s my word against his, against my own parents who got paid to put pressure on me, claim that I was an unstable child and made it all up. And if I say anything I get sued inside out for slander. Defamation of character. Whatever. I’m going to need you to delete this recording. I can’t be talking about this.”

“Why didn’t anyone else come forward? It wasn’t until women all over North America started coming out with sexual harassment suits against powerful men in the industry in the late twenty-teens that you filed your claim. Why only you?”

“I guess I was the first, and they probably paid everybody else off before they could bother once they took care of me. I don’t know. I tried to call Chloe Bell, who was on the show with me from the start, but her parents told me she overdosed the year before. Everyone that ever touched Bonky Wonky just fell to shit.”

“If someone else could prove it, and stood up to him, would you back them up?”

“What, you gonna try to make a case for Joy? I don’t even know for sure anything happened to her.”

“Just hypothetically, if any of the other cast members stood up to him. If you could be a united front. Would you do it?”

“Yes. Now please delete this recording, in front of me.”

“Okay.”

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