Actor Michael Douglas said that he blamed himself for his son’s drug addiction.
“You rack your brain,” he said, according to ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” “You take it personally in the beginning, you start blaming yourself. My career came before my family. My marriage was not great, and so you do hide yourself in your work.”
The admission comes as his son, Cameron Douglas, is releasing a memoir, “Long Way Home,” detailing his decades-long addiction to hard drugs.
The elder Douglas stated: “I should have focused more on my family. But that’s hard to say when you’re in the midst of your career, when you are in your own mind stepping out of your father’s shadow, trying to create a life of your own.”
Michael Douglas’ father is legendary actor Kirk Douglas and his wife is actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Cameron, 40, in a recent interview, recalled that it was strange to grow up around Hollywood royalty.
“How do you compete with Kirk Douglas? How do you live in Michael Douglas’ shadow?” Cameron asked, according to the Page Six.
“The ups and downs of drug addiction are entirely predictable… There’s a comfort in that,” Cameron also wrote, in part, in his book, as reported by People magazine. He said drugs were a “path out of loneliness.”
In the report, Michael said he hoped his son, who served a number of years in prison on drug charges, would get clean but wasn’t optimistic.
“[We had] reached a point where I thought I was going to lose him, based on everything I’d seen,” Michael said. “and was not willing to emotionally commit anymore. At what point do you protect yourself or your other loved ones around you before you’re getting dragged into this and it falls apart?”
But Cameron, whose mother is former model Diandra Luker, said he’s not angry with his parents.
“There are millions and millions of kids way worse off than (I was),” he said.
According to the NY Post, in Douglas’ book, he recalled a series of stick-up robberies for which he was never arrested. In a Hollywood motel, he said, he pulled an air gun on an elderly woman for her to open the cash register, which had a $20 bill inside.
In 2009, a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sting operation landed him in prison. He got a five-year prison term for conspiracy to distribute meth and cocaine. While in prison, he received another five years after he was found with drugs while behind bars.
Douglas said he finally got sober while in prison. He was released in 2016.