Cameron Douglas was born into film royalty — however his life hasn’t all been glamorous.
The son of film star Michael Douglas, 75, and grandson of display screen legend, Kirk Douglas, 102, Cameron says the strain may very well be debilitating at instances.
“It’s unusual rising up seeing your father and grandfather as giants projected on screens and billboards . . . It’s diminishing to be perceived primarily as another person’s son . . . How do you compete with Kirk Douglas? How do you reside in Michael Douglas’ shadow?” the 40-year-old writes in his new memoir, “Lengthy Approach Residence” (Knopf), out Tuesday.
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He adopted in his father’s footsteps, no less than when it got here to medication, solely he took a rougher path.
For years, Cameron was a coke and heroin addict, dealing crystal meth and residing a lifetime of destruction which led to just about eight years in jail.
Within the guide, he recollects a sequence of stick-ups for which he was by no means arrested. As soon as, at a Hollywood motel, he pulled an air gun on the petrified outdated woman manning the entrance desk, and demanded she open the money register. It had a single $20 invoice in it.
The Hollywood scion grabbed it.
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“I’m doing it much less for the cash than for the adrenaline . . . and the bragging rights,” Cameron writes. “I like complicated folks, making them puzzle over how somebody who got here from a lot privilege can do such loopy s—t.”
He was arrested in New York Metropolis in 1999 for cocaine possession and once more in 2005 when Los Angeles cops discovered heroin and crack in his automobile. Two years later, he was charged with felony possession of a managed substance after police pulled him over in Santa Barbara, Calif. and found a syringe of liquid cocaine.
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In 2009, Cameron was dealt his largest blow when he was arrested throughout a sting on the Gansevoort lodge in Manhattan. He pleaded responsible to heroin possession and conspiracy to distribute medication and was sentenced to 5 years — solely to be slapped, in 2011, with 4 and a half extra years for possessing gadgets that examined optimistic for cocaine and heroin, which he scored from fellow inmates.
Cameron had been uncovered to the social gathering scene most of his life.
He writes concerning the bevy of stars who would dwell it up on the household dwelling: Jack Nicholson, Pat Riley, Oliver Stone, Danny DeVito.
“At the same time as a very younger child, I bear in mind operating joints forwards and backwards,” he says within the guide. “Dad would say, ‘Hey, deliver this over to your uncle,’ and I might, not realizing till years later what it had been. As I received older, I might creep from home to deal with on the compound, climbing balconies and seeing greater than I used to be purported to: stunning grown-ups doing the issues that stunning grown-ups residing lives of extra do.”
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As soon as Michael’s well-known buddies had left their rooms, Cameron and his personal pal would rifle by the celebs’ baggage on the lookout for no matter substances had been liable for the wild night time earlier than.
Cameron recollects how, after nights like these, his dad would take him for early morning breakfasts at a Sundown Boulevard lodge; it was solely as an grownup, he writes, that he realized these father-son moments had been truly when Michael was coming down after a protracted night time of partying.
The film star’s wild life was lengthy a degree of rivalry between Michael and Cameron’s mom, Diandra.
“After I was seven and we had been in Aspen, [my mother] held up just a little plastic bag with what regarded just like the dried flowers she used to make the toilet scent good . . . ‘Have you learnt what that is, Cameron?’ It is a drug. Your father is utilizing medication,’ ” he writes.
Michael and Diandra’s marriage was tumultuous from the get-go.
For her 21st birthday, in 1979, Michael threw her a raging bash at their dwelling in Beverly Hills — even though she had tonsillitis.
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“Dad didn’t cancel the social gathering, and whereas she lay in poor health in mattress upstairs, he partied downstairs with [the band] Foreigner and different visitors, practically all of them his buddies. Lastly, at 5 a.m., Mother kicked each one out,” Cameron writes. “Afterward, she determined she didn’t like present enterprise or the folks in it. This could be an issue, since that was Dad’s life.”
Their father-son bond was additionally typically strained, due partly to Michael’s profession.
“Our relationship was a sequence of leap cuts, vivid bursts after we had been collectively punctuating longer stretches after we had been aside,” Cameron writes.
One summer season, Michael determined that Cameron wanted a “extra fixed male affect.”
Throughout a lunch with Diandra, on the Ivy in Beverly Hills, Michael pointed to a busboy.
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“Dad stated, ‘What about this man? He appears very succesful. He may very well be a houseman or one thing like that.’ Mother spoke to him in Spanish . . . he was from El Salvador,” Cameron writes. “Quickly [he] was residing with us. He took care of me from the second I woke up to date I went to sleep.”
Cameron, age 10, was heartbroken when the previous busboy advised him he was leaving.
“I’d later be taught that Mother had discovered vodka bottles underneath [his] mattress and requested him to cease ingesting,” he writes.
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Cameron had simply began at boarding college when he heard that his father had checked into rehab for “intercourse habit.”
“So far as I might inform, he was there primarily for his ingesting and to placate Mother. She had caught him in mattress with one other lady, given him an ultimatum that he needed to take care of his drug and alcohol consumption, and two weeks later he checked into Sierra Tuscon, a clinic in Arizona,” he writes.
Michael continued to stray and, in the summertime of 1995, Diandra reached her breaking level after a personal investigator caught the star on the Beverly Wilshire lodge with yet one more lady.
“It’s unhappy to suppose again on, however once they advised me they had been getting divorced, it didn’t knock my socks off. Truly, I welcomed it,” Cameron says in his guide.
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At one level, earlier than Cameron’s jail sentence, Michael advised his son that it was inconceivable to nurture a relationship with him.
“I feel you’re going to overdose, or somebody’s going to kill you, otherwise you’re going to kill somebody. I’m attempting to arrange myself emotionally,” Michael stated, based on the guide.
Regardless of the familial ups and downs, Cameron was elated when Michael and Kirk, whom Cameron calls “Pappy,” visited him on the Metropolitan Correction Heart in Manhattan whereas he awaited sentencing in 2009.
“I’m so impressed by Pappy, and touched. He’s ninety-three, and he’s come all the way in which from California to see me,” Cameron recollects within the guide.
Kirk requested him: “You’ve been getting in any fights?”
Cameron advised him sure.
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“Have you ever been successful or dropping?” Kirk requested.
“Profitable,” Cameron responded.
“That’s my boy.”
Whereas in jail, Cameron commissioned an enormous tattoo on his torso of his grandfather and father.
“I’ve by no means been in a position to overcome my conflicting emotions about my final identify, my satisfaction in it and on the identical time, my discomfort with having it outline how different folks see me,” he writes.
“After I get their faces tattooed on my physique, I really feel prepared, lastly, to indicate an uncomplicated satisfaction in them. After I present the tattoo to Dad, he appears embarrassed.”
After being launched from jail in 2016, Cameron moved right into a Bronx midway home and, later, right into a Tribeca condo together with his girlfriend, Viviane Thibes, a yoga teacher.
He writes about touring to California to go to Kirk, who, at 100, is taken together with his grandson’s tattoo and grills him about life in jail.
“Each time a visitor comes over, Pappy calls me over and has me showcase my abs,” Cameron writes of the “Spartacus” star.
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“He has a lot curiosity, asking limitless questions on jail life. ‘Have been you in a gang? Did you struggle quite a bit? Did you kill anybody?’ ”
Cameron credit his dad’s second spouse, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, with “pushing [Michael] to increase his paternal like to me.
“At some point, we’re hanging out and [my dad] says, ‘I don’t understand how you probably did it. The way you went by the stuff you did.’ It’s the primary time he’s ever acknowledged it fairly like that,” Cameron writes.
Now, he’s a father himself. In December 2017, Viviane gave start to their daughter, Lua Izzy Douglas. They dwell within the Hollywood Hills and Cameron is pursuing a profession in performing — and rebuilding a relationship together with his household.
“[My father and I] by no means actually turned buddies, as many father and sons do at a sure level, however now we’re beginning to do this,” Cameron writes.
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“We’re forming the connection I’ve at all times wished.”
This text initially appeared in Web page Six.