"I thought I knew a lot and I really didn't. I just trusted the wrong people."
     The 17-year-old changed her name from Althea Janairo and started off well enough, landing high-profile modeling jobs with companies like Dep and Dance France and the contract role in General Hospital. But Carrere also fell in with Steve Sarich, a manipulative personal manager 16 years her senior who moonlighted as her boyfriend.
     Sarich urged Carrere to file a newsmaking suit against General Hospital. The basis: the soap was forcing her into bankruptcy by denying her a contract release. When Carrere started on the show the writers had given her as many as six scenes a day. Three months later, as the novelty of her character wore thin, the role dwindled to a few lines a week, reducing her pay to as little as $359 per week. A potentially more lucrative role on The A-Team was up for grabs but for her exclusive contract to GH.
     Carrere lost the suit. Along with that went valuable respect from GH colleagues. "There was a lot of gossip on the set," she told People in 1986. "Sometimes they didn't realize I was there, and they said, 'Who does she think she is? She's got to pay her dues.' The last few months were pure hell."

hree years later Carrere still winces at the memory. "I was very young when all that came down. I thought I knew a lot and I really didn't. I just trusted the wrong people."
     Carrere also got caught up in the classic syndrome of having too much too soon. "I was 18 and driving a Mercedes-Benz convertible. I was renting a three-bedroom house all for myself. I was flaunting all the external accoutrements of stardom. But I guess I had to find out things for myself."
     Listening to her now it is obvious that Carrere has taken to heart the lessons she's learned in Hollywood. They've left her cautious and press-shy--the People article had portrayed her as painfully naive. "The reporter claimed he was going to write the article from my point of view. Instead, he made me sound like a little idiot. It made me never want to do another interview again." PAGE 4

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