I have spoken to David and he has provided me with a set of questions and answers that he feels will deal with some of the questions that members of the Forum might have. Let me make a few points first.
David Kaye is Silly Billy and he is also David Friedman.
David is participating in panel discussions following screenings of the documentary in New York. He is doing this in order to protect his image and gauge audience reaction. He says the audiences are reacting 99 percent positively. After the film they generally conclude that Davids brother and father are innocent of the charges for which they were imprisoned.
David is not only worried how his client base in NY is going to react, but he is also worried how the magic community is going to react. I agree with John Hudson when he writes that this is the time that David needs us the most. Lets support him as he goes through a difficult time.
In Davids own words:
It has always been painful for me to talk about the tragedy that befell my father and brother, both of whom were imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. My father died in prison, and my brother spent 13 years there. I had a personal policy of telling no one about this. I have always been afraid that if my clients found out even a bit of this story, I would lose my ability to earn a living.
Below are the questions that most people are asking me. I hope this information answers questions you may have as well. To learn more about the exonerating evidence and my brothers work at overturning his conviction visit his web site. www.FreeJesse.net How did the filmmaker discover this story?
The original film started out as a movie about me, as New Yorks top childrens entertainer. The filmmaker spent two years interviewing me and filming my life. (The footage of Silly Billy is from that period.) I was excited that a film was being made about me and felt it would help bring me publicity.
After extensive interviewing over this time his questions became more probing, and he became suspicious of my vague answers. Following his research, he discovered a secret about my family. He told me the clown movie was halted and he would now be making a movie about my family. He made it clear that he was making this new movie whether I participated in the movie or not. I felt that by participating I would have more control than by not participating. In a sense it was under duress in that the filmmaker gave me no choice in the matter. If it were up to me, a film about my family would not have been made. But once the filmmaker insisted that he would make the film no matter what, I acquiesced.Why did you help make the new film, and share the videotape you shot of your family?
At the time my brother was still in prison and looking at six more years. So I made a big decision. I decided that, in good conscience, I could not miss this opportunity to help exonerate my father and brother, and possibly get my brother out of prison. I understood that this might affect my career, but I was willing to take that risk. Some things are just more important than work. I always did and always will do anything in my power to help my family. That meant cooperating with the filmmaker. Why did you shoot all that videotape in 1987?
Initially I shot the tape knowing that my family was about to begin a difficult chapter in our life. After two or three months it became clear that things were not going to end in their favor. I then continued to tape in order to preserve our family and to have a record of our lives together.Did your father and brother do the things they were accused of?
Absolutely not. Child molestation is both abhorrent and detestable, but both my father and certainly my brother are innocent of the charges against them. You cant ignore the fact that there was no physical evidence, there was no medical evidence, children continued to voluntarily sign up for class -- semester after semester, parents showed up unannounced and saw nothing, and even after 15 years the police never found any photos that the children said had been taken. I hope everyone sees this movie and I expect anyone who does will come away with the same reaction.How much money are you making off this film?
Nothing. I spent hundreds of hours helping make the clown movie, and hundreds more when it became a film about my family. I was not compensated for my participation in the past and will not be in the future. According to the filmmaker, compensating me would make his credibility suspect. Then why would I share such private moments? Because I wanted to help make the best movie possible, in order for more people to see it, and convince more people to join our crusade for my brothers innocence. What do you think of the film?
I am hoping this film serves the purpose I always intended it to. That the truth about the injustice to my father and brother comes out and that their names are finally cleared. I am hoping that, in addition to the three students in the film who say they know nothing happened, additional complainants come forward and admit that my dad and brother didnt do those things. In fact as a direct result of the film two more ex-computer students have come forward and offered their help. These two were in the computer classes where others said they were molested. These two people have told us they were there and no abuse occurred. They have agreed to participate in exonerating my brother. The process has begun.