Randy Answers Frequently Asked Questions E-Mail Randy
Q. Iíve seen news on the Internet that says you have a book coming out, but Iím confused about the title. Whatís it really called?
Randy: The title has changed several times since I decided to tell my story.
When I started talking into a tape recorder in 2000, I called it LIVING IN THE SHADOWS.
By the time Iíd filled fifty tapes of recorded personal history, two years later, it was called BROTHERS SPLIT BY SECRETS.
As the book was written over the next six months, the title changed several more times. When the Mail on Sunday came out of nowhere to interview me in 2004, it was IíM SPACEYíS BROTHER, WHETHER HE LIKES IT OR NOT. Then it was changed to SPACEY'S BROTHER: Out Of The Closet.
Now, in the final re-write stage itís now titled FOWLER FOLLIES: Surviving Child Abuse. Less About Kevin and more about Randy and child abuse. Wait, another title change, it's now, "Too Flamboyant For Vegas". This Book has very little about my brother in it. No photos or names, just the story.
Who knows? It could change again once a publisher picks it up.
Q. Does ďOut of the closetĒ mean what I think it means?
Randy: I donít know what you think it means, but it refers to the first chapter of the book, where Iím 13 years old and physically hiding in a closet, with a gun in my hand.
Sure, thereís symbolism in the old title, too. Closets are dark, cramped places with the door closed. Thereís something comforting about being alone in a familiar place. In a quiet closet, youíre sheltered on all sides when thereís nobody around you can trust. Itís a place where you can hide with your secrets.
Q. Whatís the book about?
Randy: Itís my life story so far, up-close and personal.
Iíve stopped hiding my big secret: I was a victim of childhood abuse: mental, physical and sexual.
My own father was the abuser.
Just as bad, my mother refused to listen when I tried to tell her what happened. She didnít believe me or protect me or make the abuse stop.
The book shows all the ways the abuse screwed up my life.
Q. What makes your story special?
Randy: Iím one of millions of abused children, and each of us is unique.
Lots of other abused kids, unfortunately, never get the chance to tell their stories. They OD on drugs. They commit suicide. They take out their anger and frustration on others through violence or crime, and end up dead or in prison, leaving countless shattered lives in their wake.
Or, like me, they suffer in silenceóalways making bad choices, bouncing from one job or relationship to the next without purpose, picking up odd compulsions and obsessions, harboring issues of trustóuntil they just canít stand to live alone with it any more.
All I can do is lay out a case study in the effects of chronic abuse on one person, who just happens to also be the blood relation of a celebrity. The experience of abuse derailed my life.
It radically changed my definition of family. The emotional baggage I carried from the abuse weighed me down and held me back from achieving real success in my chosen profession as a musician. It affected my personal relationships with friends and coworkers and lovers.
It took 35 years for me to come to grips with the simple fact that only I could help myself. The only way to help myself was to examine my life in detail, see where I went wrong, and vow not to make the same mistakes again.
Q. What are you trying to accomplish with this book?
Randy: In helping myself, IĎd like to help others. By telling my story, I hope to provide insight into the adult behavior of a child whoís been severely traumatized.
Iíd like, by example, to provide a message of comfort to those who have long buried their awful secret. If youíve kept silent, itís not too late to change your life. You donít have to live in torment: there are plenty of places now to seek professional help.
And hereís a message for the newly abused: tell someone you trust about your experience now.
Sexual abuse takes place in the shadows, in private, because itís against the law. The one thing that can defeat it is publicity, shining a bright light into the dark corner.
So tell somebody. Keep talking until somebody listens and does something. Itís necessary for your peace of mind, now and in the future.
|Q. If itís your story, how come youíre using your famous brotherís name on the cover of your book?|
Randy: Itís a fact of life: Kevin Spacey the celebrity happens to be my younger brother. I always knew him as Kevin Fowler when we were growing up together. I didnít choose to be his brother, it just happened that way. So, like it or not, his life is intertwined with mine.
Kevin was the reason I allowed my father to continue to abuse me for so long: so heíd leave my younger brother alone. By the time the abuse stopped. Mother was protecting Kevin from my father.
Kevin was important in Randy's World straight through our teens. We were both in the creative arts, he in acting and me in music. We hung out together, went to each otherís shows, and applauded one anotherís performances.
Something changed between us half a lifetime ago, and I really donít know why.
Iíve always kept in touch with him all our adult lives. Iíve been cordial when weíve spoken or gotten together.
But those times have been few and far between. Kevin has virtually ignored me for the last 25 years. During the time heís become a major movie star, heís become a minor character in my life. Thatís been his choice, not mine.
In his climb to the top of the profession, Kevinís borrowed incidents from my troubled life to make himself seem more interesting, to look like a rebellious ďbad boy.Ē It seems only fair to tell my own true story, which involves growing up abused in the same household with a brother who was protected from abuse, and who coincidentally grew up to become a well known actor.
When Kevin writes his story he can call it ďFowlerís brother,Ē if he wants, and show my picture on the cover.