Michael Douglas ‘is a dry drunk, prone to rages, he’s gotten to be a mean old man’

Many of us were not surprised by this week’s People Magazine cover story, in which “sources” (re: publicists) claimed that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have informally separated. The rumors have been rolling about Zeta and Michael for weeks/months. I think most people understand that they’ve been through a great deal over the past few years, what with his cancer diagnosis and treatment and her mental health issues. But of course, there’s always added layers and extra gossip as to why such a high-profile couple has split. Which is where this Daily Mail story comes in. You can read the full piece here and here are some highlights:

Michael wanted the split: He has been spending time alone, in the South of France. She is with her mum and two children in upstate New York, in a stunning £3.2million home. Douglas, 68, is said to have given up on the union some time ago and has already consulted lawyers, though neither he nor Catherine, 43, is said to be filing for a divorce at this stage.

They’ve been living apart on-and-off for a while: Earlier this year, she spent a second spell in the clinic to receive further treatment for her condition. In recent months, they have drifted increasingly apart. It was claimed in February that Douglas had moved out and gone to live nearby while they considered their future. He was also said to have moved out for a time last summer, but returned because of concerns for her health.

Fighting about Cameron, who is in jail: There have been reports of vicious arguments. He is said to have accused her of ‘giving up’ on Cameron, his son from his first marriage, who he regularly visits in prison in Pennsylvania, taking their two children Carys, ten, and Dylan, 13, with him. But Catherine has never been seen there.

Jen Paul, the editor of the Bohomoth: ‘This has been a perfect storm of stress, guilt and incredible heartache. They decided last year to give living apart a go, while co-parenting the kids, but now they barely see each other. Rather than help them decide what was wrong and what needed fixing, it made it clear to them both that they were so much happier and calmer apart. They have tried counselling but the truth of the matter is they’ve fallen out of love and are both completely different people now from how they were when they got married.’

Catherine is fighting for the marriage: A source says, ‘The marriage is effectively over. Catherine is fighting to save the marriage but he’s had it. Michael has been through so much in the past few years he feels that life is too short for all this misery.’ Another says: ‘Reconciliation is not on his radar anymore.’

Michael is a ‘dry drunk’: He is someone who no longer abuses alcohol but is prone to rages. ‘Michael has gotten to be a mean old man. He finds fault in her all the time, it is an ugly atmosphere. He is grouchy and hard to live with. They have been arguing for years.’

Michael doesn’t want to be a house-husband anymore: After Catherine won an Oscar for Chicago in 2003 and had daughter Carys shortly afterwards, Douglas took a career break, saying that he was happy to stay home and make pancakes with the kids. He reasoned that Catherine was ‘in the prime of her career.’ They set up home in Bermuda, but Catherine apparently found it incredibly boring. And when she had to work, it led to separations. While Douglas stayed at home she enjoyed boozy outings with Brad Pitt and George Clooney on the set of Ocean’s Twelve.

She flirted with Aaron Eckhart: In 2007 there was a very public flirtation with another co-star, Aaron Eckhart. The two held hands on the red carpet, and Douglas was apparently ‘furious’.

The money & the prenup: The couple have a combined fortune of £185 million and Catherine has a pre-nuptial agreement which gives her £960,000 for every year of marriage. She will also be advised to hang on to several of their eight homes.

[From The Mail]

I actually like Michael as an actor (Romancing the Stone 4 Eva), but I have no problem believing that he’s a son of bitch in his personal life or that he and Catherine have been fighting for years. I don’t have any trouble believing that he’s a nit-picker and that he can be belligerent too. And that’s when the age difference really comes in, right? But what does surprise me is that it sounds like Catherine hasn’t given up yet – that she really loves him and wants to try to make the marriage work? Poor Zeta.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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127 Responses to “Michael Douglas ‘is a dry drunk, prone to rages, he’s gotten to be a mean old man’”

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  1. Maya says:

    This all makes me rather sad.

  2. aims says:

    I agree. I think he could be a real prick to live with. Maybe that intensified Cathrine’s depression. Also, she maybe sick of Cameron’s antics and had to walk away. His record is long and serious, and I don’t really blame her. Maybe this is for the best.

  3. Kiddo says:

    I don’t understand the concept of a dry drunk. It sounds like a made up syndrome originated by someone who stands to profit from it by saying they can cure it.

    • Kaiser says:

      I first heard the “dry drunk” tag in reference to George W. Bush. It’s an alcoholic who never really went through any kind of real program to get sober and make peace with his or her addiction.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t get it either and was going to ask the same thing. Does it mean he gave up the booze but the accompanying bad behavior didn’t go away? If that’s the case then it seems fair to say that the booze wasn’t the cause of the bad behavior…

      • Kiddo says:

        That’s what I think too. I believe it is phrase made up by AA, or rehabs, etc. He probably had preexisting mental health issues before drinking. I sometimes hate the buzzwords or catch phrases developed by certain industries, they have a cult-ish feel to them.

      • UsedToBeLulu says:

        “Does it mean he gave up the booze but the accompanying bad behavior didn’t go away?”

        Essentially, yes. They have never addressed the underlying issues that led them to self medicate with alcohol. I don’t always think that there are underlying issues, however. Sometimes uncontrollable alcohol cravings may be genetically based.

        I don’t (for the record) prescribe to the disease model of alcoholism, because it has not been proven to be very effective in treating it.

    • Elle says:

      “They haven’t had a drink in years, but still haven’t gotten to the Sober part.”

    • Trek Girl says:

      This is a description from the Canadian AA:

      ‘”Dry” refers to the abstinence from drinking, whereas “drunk” signifies a deep pathological condition resulting from the use of alcohol in the past. Taken together these words suggest intoxication without alcohol. Since intoxication comes from the Greek word for poison, “dry drunk” implies a state of mind and a mode of behavior that are poisonous to the alcoholic’s well being”‘

      The article also makes it clear that the term is not meant to be used as a “catch-all when someone has a bad day or when a bump in life throws them for a while.” It is referring to something specific.

      Now, the thing about alcohol is that if someone drinks a lot of it for a long time, it’s effects may stay with them, even after they stop drinking. It can change how the brain functions, and how the person functions.
      This can be bad for the former alcoholic and everyone around them, like spouses and children.

      This is a real thing, and it’s not meant to be a buzz word. Unfortunately, people can latch on to it and misuse it or use it an excuse.

      I suggest reading more about the subject. It’s interesting and could come in handy.

      • Kiddo says:

        Hmm, interesting and I like that the explanation includes possible physiological implications.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “whereas “drunk” signifies a deep pathological condition resulting from the use of alcohol in the past”

        I just don’t know if I agree with re-writing the meaning of the word “drunk”. Drunk means being intoxicated by alcohol, not a pathological condition. I do think alcoholism is rooted in brain chemistry, however, I do no think one needs to be an alcoholic to be drunk.

      • Kiddo says:

        @Tiffany
        I think that I would be okay with the overall definition if there was scientific proof demonstrating brain changes only in those who don’t drink but don’t attend AA and those who don’t drink but go through private therapy for mental health diagnoses, etc, versus those who don’t drink but do attend AA and/or a rehab program. I’ve never heard of such a study.

        There have been studies which do demonstrate that there can be brain changes (positive) for those who enter talk therapy for things like depression.

    • JC says:

      I’m in AA, and the term “dry drunk” is very real. Some of you got it exactly right — it’s someone who’s given up alcohol/drugs, but didn’t work a 12-step program to get to the heart of why they abused the substance in the first place. Doing the 12 steps of AA (or NA or OA) is rough — they force you to examine yourself and your motivations, and character defects, and make peace and amends where you can. Addicts must heal themselves of the demons that made them addicts in the first place. I’ve seen people who are just absolute miracles — they shouldn’t be alive because of the way they drank, but here they are. It’s amazing. Best thing that I’ve ever been involved in.

    • Bored suburbanhousewife says:

      Washington political reporters used to call W a dry drunk because he remained an addiction prone prison who substituted his rather maniacal addicts to excise for his previous addiction to alcohol. Not a bad solution I terms of substituting one addiction for another, though I did use to wonder how he had time to deal with big issues like the Iraq War etc when so much daily time was devoted to exercising.

    • John says:

      You are correct. “Dry drunk” is a term created by AA to shun and demean people who were able to get sober without prescribing to their cult.
      Don’t get me wrong, AA is a wonderful organization that has helped millions of people, but it meets every, single criteria of a cult, and they can’t stand people who have their own inner strength and don’t need an institutional kum ba ya to beat their addictions.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t know if I would say that AA is a cult, but I completely agree that this term is a way to shun those that acheived sobriety through other means.

        I have had close experience for AA, and while it certainly helps some, it doesn’t work for everyone. Especially athiests.

      • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

        Awesome post, thank you :)

      • Esmom says:

        Hmm. My hunch was that AA was somehow behind it. I know people who’ve gotten — and stayed — sober without the help of AA. Both sought therapy for depression, so perhaps any underlying issues were resolved there and the “12 steps” weren’t necessary?

        This just reinforces my feeling that everyone’s journey is different and what works for one may not work for another.

      • Melanie says:

        AA is not a cult. John, have you been to a meeting? If so, did they ask you for all your money, tell you to never speak to your family again? Brainwash you? I’m not an alcoholic but I’ve been to many AA meetings. If you think they are a cult, perhaps you need to look up the definition. See Scientology.

        AA is not for everyone, however I can personally attest to the miracles I saw after family members and a friend got sober and started attending meetings. There are lots of ways to quit drinking, AA is just the most successful. And there are reasons for that success.

        Float your own boat, but it’s rare I see someone demean the program with the term “cult” that isn’t an addict themselves. Or else, it’s a family member that is just as sick as the alcoholic and they are pissed because their loved one is changing and attending meetings all the time. There are thousand of meetings every day of the week in the US. Are some of them going to suck? Of course. That’s why they suggest you try a few meetings to see which one is for you.

        I’ll take a sober, meeting attending relative over a drunk any day of the week. Having personally lived with a dry drunk, it’s no picnic. It’s simply a person that behaves and reacts EXACTLY like they do drunk, except they no longer drink.

      • lisa says:

        i think some people abuse whatever they abuse out of immaturity and can evolve into something else. im not religious but i woulnt discount some sort of pastoral therapy. everyone doesnt have to go to AA

      • jwoolman says:

        John – Plenty of people who are non-theists don’t get twisted over God language, they just take the useful stuff and interpret it their own way. There are loads of atheists in the pulpits and the pews, peacefully co-existing with those who believe in a god at all different levels. They don’t feel obliged to convert anybody or even mention their beliefs, so you probably don’t realize how many there are. I imagine AA is the same way. I have a friend who has been sober for several decades and still goes to AA meetings, he says they helped him get and keep sober after a couple of decades of binge drinking, hospital stays, and general ruination of his family relationships. He doesn’t worry about the religious language used, he knows that helps believers even though it’s irrelevant for him. So the steps can work regardless of any religious slant (which is just cultural anyway). But there are other paths. It’s just that whenever someone finds a life-changing approach that actually works for them, they tend to get overenthusiastic and proselytize, which can be annoying. This is true at all levels, including health changes in general, losing weight, etc. We all do it to some extent.

    • beary says:

      I’ve known this expression for decades due to growing up with an alcoholic father.

      Alcoholics (some if not all) have episodes of irrational anger, rage, tend to be negative. They don’t work their own issues but project onto others. It’s painful and abusive.

      A dry drunk is someone who no longer drinks, or never did drink for that matter, but displays this temperament of a mean drunk. Abusive, ragey, manipulative, damaging all around.

    • Maureen says:

      @ Kiddo

      It’s real. Got a couple of them in my family. Oh boy. So basically, the short of it is that all addicts (booze, drugs, whatever) have behavioral issues and can even have emotional issues or mental health issues. When they drink these issues are exacerbated to a frightening degree and can result in violence or other types of abuse. However, when an alcoholic is able to stop drinking they’re still left with the same issues if they don’t receive therapy. Addicts need two-fold therapy: for the physical addiction and for the behavior or emotional issues. Their loved ones tend to tolerate the behavior of dry drunks because having them “dry” and ugly is still way better than having them “wet” and ugly.

      • MW says:

        @Maureen – perfect explanation.

      • Esmom says:

        This is an interesting explanation, as is this whole tangent. Thanks to all. What about people who drink to excess but are for all intents and purposes “happy?” Or is there no such thing and they are drinking to excess to mask some underlying pain that just isn’t visible?

        I don’t drink because I realized long ago that it exacerbates my tendencies toward anxiety…I ask because I can think of numerous friends and family members who drink a TON but don’t exhibit anything worse than slurred speech and general incoherence.

      • Maureen says:

        @ Esmon

        Such people may differ case by case but there are such people called “functioning alcoholics”. The mother of one of my best friends has been one for years. Beautiful woman, put together, fashionable, intelligent, charming, successful at a full-time job…but drinks every single day, including “sneaking” a toddy on her lunch break. She is drunk almost every day but sort of low-grade in the week evenings and then a little more sloppy on the weekends when she can relax and let loose. Her husband adores her and is a major enabler.

      • Esmom says:

        @Maureen, thanks. I know a few of those, I think. So many forms of addiction/abuse. The functioning alcoholic is one who will end up with a failing liver at some point, like a friend’s mom who shocked everyone by dying of cirrhosis. She had hidden her drinking for decades.

        I am so fascinated with the topic because my kids are young teens and so many kids their age are experimenting with alcohol. Binge drinking, drunk driving, potential abuse…I feel like there’s so much to fear. And the messages they get in the media — especially during the sports they watch — just glamorizes drinking.

      • Nina W says:

        I just don’t like the dry drunk term at all. You’re dry or you’re not and calling someone an alcohol shaming name when they’re sober is not helpful. People who drink too much will not have all their other problems magically resolved through AA’s 12 steps and it’s hubris on the part of AA to suggest otherwise.

  4. BleuPen says:

    Isn’t CZJ also know for being a royal pain in the arse?

    I just don’t see either of them being nice people.

  5. Nev says:

    If this is true. Nahh!!! Too much for anyone to handle much less someone with mental illness. Life is way too short for bad moods etc

  6. Linet says:

    I cant imagine Michael Douglas would be an easy guy to live with. How much worse must it be for her with Bipolar II? That cranky old man probably thinks she should just snap out of it. The part about her wanting to keep the marriage is very telling. It sounds like she blames herself, its not you girl, its him.

  7. Linet says:

    I cant imagine Michael Douglas would be an easy guy to live with. How much worse must it be for her with Bipolar II? That cranky old man probably thinks she should just snap out of it. The part about her wanting to keep the marriage is very telling. It sounds like she blames herself, its not you girl, its him.

  8. Eleonor says:

    I can totally believe he is an a-hole in his private life.
    I hope she moves on with her life, and let him be the bitter old man alone.

    • Holly says:

      I’m with you – whaaaa????

    • Bernice says:

      Rumor has it she shaves a number of years off her age. Possibly as much as 10 years….

    • Alexis says:

      THANK YOU! That woman ain’t nobody’s forty-three. Chile puhleeeeze. Wasn’t there a blind item a while back that fit them perfectly about how the husband found out about his wife’s real age when they went to a party at the white house. I’m going to look for it.

      • Alexis says:

        YUP! http://blindgossip.com/?p=14985

        BlindGossip – Party crashers aren’t the only ones creating stress at the White House. A certain celebrity was scheduled to attend a function at the White House, but ran into a snafu when a standard security check was performed on her. It turns out that the age on her driver’s license didn’t match up to the background check. She gave them a big song and a dance about how the mix up occurred, but eventually had to admit her real age in order to gain admission for future events. We don’t know which made her actor husband more upset: the fact that she was singled out for a mild interrogation, or that fact that his wife has lied to him all along about her age. While she is unquestionably beautiful, she is quite a few years older than he thought she was.

      • UsedToBeLulu says:

        Except we have dated photos of Catherine that indeed show that to be very close to, if not her true age. Childhood photos, etc (she was a well known actress in Wales long before she came to the US).

        From Wikipedia:

        Zeta-Jones’s stage career began in childhood. She often performed at friends and family functions and was part of local dance troupe the Hazel Johnson School of Dance which rehearsed at St Alban’s Church, Treboeth.[10] Zeta-Jones made her professional acting debut when she played the lead in Annie, a production at Swansea Grand Theatre. When she was 14, Zeta-Jones was cast as Tallulah in theatre production of Bugsy Malone.

        In 1986, at age 17 she had a part in the chorus of The Pajama Game at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester starring Paul Jones and Fiona Hendley. The show subsequently toured the UK and in 1987, she starred in 42nd Street as Peggy Sawyer at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[11] She was cast in the leading role after both the actress playing Peggy Sawyer and her understudy fell ill. She also played Mae Jones in the Kurt Weill opera Street Scene with the English National Opera at the London Coliseum Theatre in 1989. After the show closed, she travelled to France where she played the lead role in French director Philippe de Broca’s Les 1001 Nuits (1990), her feature film debut.

        Her singing and dancing ability suggested a promising future but it was in a straight acting role as Mariette in the successful British television series The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993), an adaptation of H. E. Bates’ novel of the same name that brought her to public attention and made her a British tabloid darling.[11][13]

        She briefly flirted with a musical career, beginning with a part in the 1992 album Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of Spartacus, from which the single “For All Time” was released in 1992. It reached No. 36 in the UK charts. She went on to release the singles “In the Arms of Love”, “I Can’t Help Myself”, and a duet with David Essex “True Love Ways”, reaching No. 38 in the UK singles chart in 1994.[14]

      • Cazzee says:

        Hm…how do you get a fake age on your driver’s license? Don’t you have to show a birth certificate and/or a passport?

        To the poster who listed the dates of CZJ’s first acting jobs – it seems that if CZJ is indeed lying about her age, then she must have been doing it from the get-go. Pretty smart for an eighteen-year-old. (I honestly don’t think she could have knocked more than four years off her age and still believably played Annie).

      • Kiddo says:

        @Cazzee
        Maybe it was the other way around? They checked her wiki page and whatnot, but the license had her real age?

    • LAK says:

      This issue comes up every time there is a CZJ post.

      Once again, may i point out that it is impossible for British people to lie about their age for the simple reason that we are all required by LAW to register births within 42 days of it.

      The Birth registry is public and one can go have a look at it if they so wish. It’s online too. It can’t be falsified.

      It’s been going for more than 100yrs.

      This doesn’t mean that British celebrities don’t lie at all about their ages. Some have been very good about it, but only because no one bothered to check the Birth registry.

      Please google CZJ on the Birth Registry. she shows up at the right age entry which is indeed 43.

      Plus, She was a child star in Britain. There are pictures of her performing from a very young age and growing up performing in theatre mostly from where she made transition to TV and finally film. It’s all pictorial evidence of her age. She has always looked and carried herself older than her real age, but it would have been impossible for her to lie about it.

      • lisa says:

        yeah i dont get how people think she was on tv as a teenager with a drastically different age than her real age

      • Cazzee says:

        Upon closer reading, it appears that the blind item must be about someone else – it refers to a ‘celebrity wife’ and an ‘actor husband’. CZJ and MD would both be referred to as actors, or with her described as an actress and him as an actor/producer.

        So who else could that blind item be about?

        An actor husband with a celebrity wife who attended a White House event….could it be Alec Baldwin and his ’29 year old’ wife?

      • LAK says:

        Cazee – More possibilities for that Blind

        -Djimon Housou and Kimora Lee Simmons?
        -Forest Whitaker and Keisha Nash?
        -Bruce Willis and Emma Heming?
        -Toby Maquire and Jennifer Mayer?

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I always got the feeling that Catherine liked the idea of being married to him and having the perfect family more than she was really in love. Her career and her image are the most important thing to her.

    • Mindy says:

      Nah. She would have worked harder at milking it. As it is they sued tabloids over coverage. She didnt do the pap walk with him or even the kids. She barely posed with him on the red carpet. If she married him for image then she was really shitty at exploiting it. I do believe she loved that douche.

  10. bowers says:

    It’s probably been ghastly for both of them.

  11. Hannah says:

    Eeek. I thought they might get back together but Catherine’s camp are giving it their all.

    I really like them both. I think Michael has calmed down a lot in the last 20 years. I would be more inclined to believe that Catherine has become a lot harder to live with.

  12. LadyJ says:

    This reads like it came right from CZJ camp.

    I believe the stuff about Michael but I don’t believe CZJ is an angel that her people are tying to make her out to be.

    • Mel says:

      Read the full daily mail article, its harder on her.

      It claims she was drinking uncontrollably during his cancer. That when he becamd a house husband she got bored with him and took to boozing and flirting with guys. It heavily implies that she cheated with Aaron Eckhart. The one positive thing it says of her is clearly marked as coming from her camp.

      No I dont think this is her and god knows I am a cynic.

  13. nicegirl says:

    Good luck and best wishes, Cat.

  14. Jayna says:

    The truth is always in the middle when a long-term marriage breaks up like this that is seen coming for a while. Her camp spins her side. His camp spins his side. But, ultimately, with careers that entail long periods apart, big age difference, major illnesses, depression, child in jail, etc., it’s just life. He is right. Sometimes you look at your life and what it’s become and if the marriage is work all the time and you know life is short and peace is all you want in your life and maybe the marriage has just run its course if they aren’t really in love anymore to hold it together and all you have anymore in the marriage is resentment and tension coming from both sides. It’s not like they haven’t tried, obviously, and just up and left. It sounds like the issues have been dragging on for a long time and just no working through them.

  15. lisa2 says:

    Catherine is a beautiful woman. She is just a woman that has always had an OLDER maturity about her. Which is why I think people really accepted the age difference between them. There are quite a few women that are like that. Just mature for their age.

    I think it is sad because they could have found and gotten such strength from each other.

    Medical problems either make you stronger or break you. It is real test to the relationship and it’s true foundation.

  16. roxy750 says:

    She’s a smart bitch. As if they were truly in love, he was as old as a wrinkly dead skunk when they married and she has always been gorgeous. She’s very very smart. $$$

  17. nico says:

    Well, he is the son of Kirk Douglas….

  18. NorthernGirl_20 says:

    My mom has bipolar II, it’s not easy. We went through some difficult times before she finally found the right doctor and now my dad is able to get her help right away and get her moods back to normal when she is getting a little off. I was a teenager when she first got sick and that was hard. Her mood swings and crankiness – I really thought she hated me. My dad has stuck with her and I’ve got to say that he’s a saint for staying. Sometimes it’s hard to just be around her,

  19. lola lola says:

    Remember when CZJ first burst into Hollywood in that Zorro/Antonio Banderas movie? She claimed to be 23 then but it turned out she was 33. You’re telling me that was 10 years ago? hahahaha. That story is a puff piece from her PR people. Michael was so great in the Liberace movie. Perhaps he just wants his life back? Nothing wrong with that. I wish them both the best and hope it is a painless separation (if that’s possible)

  20. bettyrose says:

    Susan Faludi had some pretty awful things to say about him … substantiated by the fact that they did change the ending of Fatal Attraction to suit his delicate ego. That may have been 30 years ago, but I’ve never thought of him as anything other than an insecure raging prick.

    • UsedToBeLulu says:

      I absolutely believe he is difficult and high maintenance. Undoubtedly he found having to take care of Catherine to be a burden. I think she loves him, and is willing to put up with him and fight for their marriage and herself (hence her many public hospital stays for treatment), but he’s not willing to put up with her anymore.

      I hope she finds peace and happiness.

  21. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    I would think along with everything else the baggage from his first marriage has been problematic. Yesterday people posted about how she was a smug bitch who flaunted her pregnancy before he was even divorced from his first wife. However he and his first wife had been fighting and effectively split up for years before formal divorce proceedings. Diandra also seemed pretty bitchy and greedy herself and really waged a nasty press campaign against MD. their son obviously suffered too and has been very troubled and now in jail. I have never liked him, always thought he was attracted to high maintenance women who he then wanted to utterly control and maybe they broke down under the constant stress and then appeared to outsiders as crazy bitches.

  22. Julianthe says:

    Bipolar disorder is a difficult mental disorder to live with. Not only for the sufferer, but also for the family. Catherine has a mental illness and is getting treatment for it. This changes not only her behavior, but her outlook and possibly her personality. She is acknowledging herself and is moving forward. Unfortunately, this can leave the rest of the family members bewildered with the change and the facet of behavior or personality that they fell in love with may not still be there. If he is unwilling to understand this facet of change is a “good” thing, then Michael Douglas possibly needs get his own counselor to work through personal issues.

    • Amelia says:

      What I find confusing about CZJ’s bipolar II diagnosis and her treatment is this illness almost always presents itself in women in their early twenties. That would mean she would have had the symptoms the entire time she knew MD. So I doubt the any life or personality changes happened if she was maintaining her treatments and living the way she was supposed to.

      Before you all jump on me, let me add that I was diagnosed bipolar I at the age of 16, was on Lithium for years until the newer and much improved meds came about. Unfortunately, my son inherited my illness, but fortunately he didn’t have to experience years on Lithium and was able to go straight to the good new therapies. And if you study the disease, bipolar II is the Diet Coke of bipolar, so I know how hard it is to live with this illness, to inflict it on your family, to pass it on to your children, to sink into the depths of depression and soar among the clouds in a whir of mania, and everything in between. I’ve had near kidney failure because of Lithium poisoning due to a doctor not paying attention, and been blessed to have the most wonderful psychiatrist I can imagine. I’ve had serotonin syndrome where you all sharp objects and car keys are kept out of your reach.

      It sounds like an awful way to live, but I’ve had, and am having, a great life with a wonderful husband and children, but you have to have a strong supportive family who will educate themselves about your disease, understand your mood changes, help you see them coming as they can often see them before you can, and be understanding. And humor is a must. As my kids used to respond to me when I’d start a sentence with, “Now you probably think I’m crazy, but…” They’d answer back, “No, Mom, we already KNOW you’re crazy.” Ad then give me a hug.

      MD does not seem like that kind of supportive family member. I hope CZJ’s kids are being raised to be understanding and tolerant, and with a sense of humor.

      • Julianthe says:

        It is wonderful when you have a great support system that is willing to educate and become the foundation for healing. I agree with you, Amelia, I don’t think Michael Douglas has the ability to look outside himself and offer that support to his wife during this time. To me, he comes off as a bit narcissistic and self-centered. I believe he also had his own personal issues prior to his marriage with Catherine; wasn’t he addicted to sex? But I digress, I don’t personally know the man, but essentially, I’m on Team Catherine on this. She’s getting help and treatment for herself to become a better woman. Hope the best for her.

      • TinyTurtle says:

        Looking back my bipolarness manifested when I was a teenager, got worse and held steady during my 20′s. I was misdiagnosed as just clinical depression.

        Then I hit 33 and BAM the mania kicked in and it was obvious I was bipolar.

        I know quite a few women that have had it happen this way.

  23. India says:

    Poor CZJ. I believe all of this about Michael. I bet he’s one mean assh*le. If they divorce, I hope she gets plenty out of him.

  24. holly hobby says:

    I do have to tell you that for some men, they do get crankier and meaner as they age. My father who is a great guy when he was younger pretty much threw away his filter as he aged. He’s now 80 something and always says what’s on his mind, even in public – much to our mortification. I think once he hit 80, he thinks he isn’t long on this earth anymore so he isn’t going to suffer any fools and would let you know exactly how he feels, etiquette and manners be damned.

    So yeah I believe the mean old man thing.

  25. Ann says:

    “In 2007 there was a very public flirtation with another co-star, Aaron Eckhart. The two held hands on the red carpet, and Douglas was apparently ‘furious’.”

    Of course, she wants a younger hot dog! Old men are so deranged and delusional!

  26. Jazz Jazz says:

    Let me just say, Katherine Zeta Jones did not ruin Michael’s marriage. His marriage ended many years before he met her. One thing I can say is that many times when men have to face an illness that could take their lives or a prolonged illness, they start thinking about all they have missed by being with the one person who has been there for them during their illness. Also, many times if a wife has to deal with an illness, husbands are not there for them. They don’t know how to deal with it. I know, been there done that. Women are nurturers, men are not!

  27. Deeana says:

    When an elder begins to “say whatever they are thinking” no matter who they are with and where they are, that is known as “being socially inappropriate”. It most assuredly is often a symptom of the onset of dementia. Especially Lewy Body Dementia.

    Alzheimers is only ONE cause of dementia. Lewy Body Dementia, not as well known to the public, is related to Parkinson’s Disease and comes with its own set of symptoms. Social inappropriateness and delusions (fixed false beliefs) are a large part of the early stages of this disease.

    Another hallmark of LBD is that in the early stages it “comes and goes”. Patients have “good days” and even “good weeks” or “good months” where symptoms are not prominent. (This is due to fluctuating levels of neurotransmitters within the body.) But it is a progressive disease and it will never “go away”.

    So, in the Michael Douglas situation, factor in the possibility that due to age, he could possibly be having just a tinge of the onset of an “early” dementia. (Please don’t think the use of the term “dementia” is cruel. I am using it here in the medical sense. And actually, at his age this would not be considered to be “early onset”.)

    Add to this a condition known as “chemo brain”. I am not going to describe this here. Google it. It is real.

    Add to this pre-existing personality.

    Add to this CZJ has her own problems.

    I wish the two of them the best. I hope they can get through this without the usual “He said, she said”.

    She is still a young woman. (I do not believe she is 43.) He is not a young man and apparently he just wants some peace of mind.

    Unfortunately this situation is one of the predictable outcomes of a May/December relationship.

    Isn’t the Clint Eastwood marriage in a similar situation? Even the Demi/Ashton situation has shades of this. Demi Moore wants a ton of money in order to allow the younger Ashton Kutcher to get on with his life.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  28. taxi says:

    MD has never been considered a “nice guy”. His upbringing & parentage got him privileges he didn’t have to earn. “Born on 3rd base & thinks he hit a triple” was often used to describe him. His history with women doesn’t show much respect for females. MD falls hard & fast as with Diandra & CZJ & loses interest pretty easily too (Brenda Vaccaro). Both he & Kirk are bullies. Kirk gets chops now because he can still walk & talk but he wasn’t “nice” either.

    The respective illnesses both have treated lately are very tough individually, but together? Really solid personalities & marriages would show stress & neither of these people is very grounded.

    MD in a couple of interviews I’ve seen & read is still very much in denial about Cameron’s behaviors. He was on TV after C’s broken leg “accident” in prison + the dealing. MD still put a gloss on Cameron, made excuses, referred to him a “good kid”. Yada yada.

    I doubt Cameron ever liked his step-mother, especially after 2 more kids arrived to compete for MD’s attention & money, dividing the inheritance.

    If CZJ didn’t feed MD’s enabling fantasies or illusions about poor Cameron, victim, made some mistakes, not really his fault, bad mother, bad father etc etc, MD turned on her. Why should she go visit someone who is hostile to her & still trying to play prison bad-ass playah? Cam was a juvenile delinquent long before he made felon.

    I feel sorry for Dylan & Caris. MD will get bored with custodial parenting & won’t be much good at it anyway. CZJ, imo, has been emotionally bullied & probably still loves the man she fell in love with & married, even though he is no longer that person. I hope she gets therapy, recovers her self esteem, and gets primary custody at some point. Maybe there’s a Nigella Lawson personality similarity here.

  29. Debbie says:

    When did CZJ go from being the marriage-borking (Paul McGann? Jon Peters?) golddigging hussy to this tragic, mentally ill, soon-to-be divorcee? Feh. I’m not feeling very sorry for her at all.

  30. Nikki says:

    I am startled by everyone blaming everything on Michael. I remember reading in People how he’d been fighting his cancer, and she’d said she never accompanied him for his chemo treatments at the hospital, because she couldn’t stand it; she’d gone to the house in Bermuda. Having had 2 family members get chemo, I said out loud reading that, “no way would I let my husband face that alone; when you love someone, you do WHATEVER it takes…” The man had STAGE 4 cancer; he looked like he was at death’s door. He’d been a dirty dog in his first marriage, but there was no one once he committed to CZJ, and you KNOW the tabloids would have dug that up. One of the most powerful men in Hollywood became a house husband to support his wife’s ambitions. But when he was at death’s door, I think he saw how little he really counted to her, and I think that was the end. She’s gone on the record saying she’d never get divorced, that people from her town in Wales don’t divorce. That is NOT the same thing as loving your husband. Look back at her behavior through the years, and she’s been extremely self serving. A diagnosis of a personality disorder may win empathy, but it doesn’t make her the tragic victim necessarily.

    • Anna says:

      I agree with you to a certain point. Michael Douglas is a recognizable asshole and he was always that -Maybe he’s mostly guilty of this mess-, but that doesn’t mean CZJ is a hopeless victim or a suffering wife. In UK, there are a lot of rumours from her and her “relations” using as a social ascension. Then, even at the height of his power, Douglas was the key element in the campaign for CZJ Oscar -Exclusive parties with AMPAS members, interviews and Q&A with the guild awards-. It would be easy for Douglas keep CZJ as a “trophy wife” -Like Katie Holmes-, but on the other hand, he supports his wife in her aspirations.

      Also, I tend to believe she wants to keep the marriage mostly as a status and not neccesary love. With the great exception for her stage venture with a Tony victory, all her lead starring films -Post Chicago- flopped -Critically and comercially- and by 43 years, her film career is mostly on hold -Especially with her recent turn of two years of bombs-.

  31. Carolyn says:

    With others – imagine both would be difficult to live with. Michael looks so much like his dad! If I was Catherine I wouldn’t want a bar of Cameron either. He is old enough to know right from wrong.

  32. Mc says:

    Huge fan of michaels body of work through the years. When he divorced diandra in a humiliating and dismissive manner, I knew karma would bite back. He was arrogant with an eager trophy wife who was a relative nobody. She asserted her arrogance, had diandra thrown out of certain family commitments, resented her use of mrs.douglas, as she Catherine was the new mrs.douglas.if Cameron was a druggie at 13′ zeta madam knew what she was signing up for. An acrimonious shooing of first wife, a pretended involvement in stepson, knowing she would be the holder of the keys to the chatelaine….
    In a return, she got undivided attention, thrust among the glitterati, an Oscar and tony to boot surprising many of us. We were startled how the close fit with mp aa, the donations that came from Douglas sharply coincided with the Chicago win. E Rey movie with zeta was the kiss of death for the director. No reservations, death defying acts, the one with exhaust, she looks manic, the other that followed several of them were all duds in spite of heavy weight actors. I always thoughtmichael was very indulge t of her, letting her hog the limelight with no legitimacy other than being his wife. Yet, she could not scale those heights.
    Now if his prenup were ironclad, she would be better off to stay with him. For every year, she racks up a million. So the farcical marriage continues.she has an entourage of child minders accompanying her every outing through exotic places and seven seas. A slew of homes, where her parents and brothers mooch off by alienating the once invincible now putty MD. The children become valuable assets for her, Cameron is blissfully out of the way. So she professes how hands on she is..michaels reference point is diandra, but he probably has forgotten how much more involved he is in this round.
    Miss jones has attached herself only to rich guys. Md has given her tons of opportunities, I think of all the hardworking actresses who singly bust their bottoms ate very step. Plum roles land on her lap, but she has proved herself to be a manic actress with no subtleties…unlike her husband who is a terrific actor.
    I was alarmed how arrogantly she went off to wales during his illness. Despite his sob qualities, I admired how he came out of it alone while she partied.sorry folks, zeta is too smart to be bullied or a victim. She holds two ace cards in her children, and does not need to do anything but laugh all the way to the bank. Md must be a scared parent after Cameron. A divorce with that prenup, would have been costly than a marriage with all the perks with options to love separately.. I would love to see those clauses.