Hollywood Spurns Notorious Teens in 'Spur Posse'
May. 24, 1993
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ At first blush, the boys of the ''Spur Posse'' seem perfect fodder for TV scriptwriters - popular young jocks in a quiet suburb who lure tender young girls into point-scoring sexual escapades.
No sale. Hollywood's top talent agencies, not normally squeamish about libidinous teens and various shades of human depravity, are backing away from representing the teen-agers in any television movie deals.
Several agents, while reluctant to discuss how they select clients, nevertheless said they wouldn't feel comfortable profiting off the alleged crimes: sexual assaults on seven young girls, one only 10 years old.
''I would be using my skills to make these guys a lot of money and make them really famous, and I thought that was wrong,'' said agent Jill Holwager of United Talent Agency. The agency initially pursued a story told through the eyes of the girls.
Other agencies, including International Creative Management and William Morris, also decided against representing the boys from Lakewood High School.
The agencies' cold shoulders reveal Hollywood's uneven standard of morality. While spurning Spur Posse profits, Hollywood eagerly pursued the stories of Amy Fisher, the 17-year-old ''Long Island Lolita'' who shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco, and cult leader David Koresh, who died with dozens of other Branch Davidians in the Waco, Texas, inferno.
No Posse members would speak with a reporter for this story. The parents of 18-year-old Kris Belman - who was arrested but not charged - have voiced their concern about the attention given the boys, including paid appearances on TV talk shows.
''I thought going on was inappropriate, but they made their own decisions,'' Don Belman, Kris' father, told the Long Beach Press-Telegram recently. ''They're adults.''
Added his mother, Dottie Belman: ''They went from jail to 'Hollywood is calling.' They were given thousands of dollars. It's way, way too much to absorb. Kris is in shock. ... He should not have gone in front of the TV lights and the camera.''
Their cautionary words reflect a change of attitude since mid-March, when Kris and a younger brother, also a Posse member, were first implicated. The parents stoutly defended their sons. Don Belman said of Kris, ''Nothing my boy did was anything any red-blooded American boy wouldn't do,'' and Dottie Belman called the youngs girls ''trash.''
The 20 to 30 members of the Spur Posse group are current and former Lakewood High School students, most of them football players, who took their name from the San Antonio Spurs professional basketball team. Members got points for sexual encounters.
When the sheriff's department heard the allegations about Posse activities, deputies arrested nine teens for investigation of sexual assault.
Eventually, only two juveniles were charged, including a 16-year-old boy who admitted in court to molesting the 10-year-old girl. The 16-year-old was ordered to undergo therapy at a juvenile facility.
From the start, Lakewood High classmates regarded the Posse members, already held in some awe, as celebrities and martyrs. They were cheered when they returned to school. Many students scorned the girls as willing sex partners.
Soon, Posse members were on the talk show circuit, appearing for as much as $1,000 each with hosts Maury Povich and Jane Whitney.
Hollywood was next. But the agencies were repelled.
''We were offered the chance and passed,'' said William Morris spokesman Larry Bloustein.
At United Talent Agency, Holwager was willing to say more.
Holwager, a rape crisis worker and a former writer for Ms. magazine, acknowledged she was intrigued by the Spur Posse story.
''I was aggressively pursuing the rights from all parties,'' she said. ''I thought it was an important story that people should watch with their families.''
She envisioned a movie told from the girls' perspective.
''I wanted to know why girls were still having such bad self-esteem and thinking so little of themselves that this was the way to gain acceptance to seek out these particular, important guys and have sex with them,'' she said.
But the meeting with some Posse members, including Kris Belman, was a disaster, lasting only a few minutes.
Holwager said the boys ''really had no remorse'' and were interested only in being portrayed as popular athletes.