Michael Douglas was never a sex addict, but was a bad father


Last week, Michael Douglas’s 30-year-old son Cameron had his hearing last week on the felony drug charges he’s facing. At the hearing, Cameron’s lawyers pretty much blamed Michael for all of his addiction and legal problems. Now, while I’ll buy that Cameron probably had a very screwed childhood, and that addictive personalities run in families, at the age of 30 years old, it’s a little tired to continue to blame your daddy. Meanwhile, Michael is blaming himself too in a new Vanity Fair interview (full piece here).

The article points out that Kirk Douglas (Michael’s dad), Eric Douglas (Michael’s brother) and Michael himself have all had addiction problems, with Eric even dying of a drug overdose in 2004. Michael tells the magazine, regarding Cameron: “Anybody who has a relative or child in substance abuse has some idea of what this feels like. This is one of those worst-case scenarios. It will ultimately be a painful lesson and very expensive as far as time is concerned. I don’t wish it on anybody, but then, you know, look, everybody’s got difficult things in life… my priorities were very similar [to my father’s… Career first.” Of course, it also sounds like Michael still blames his daddy for some of his crap too:

Michael on second-generation Hollywood actors: “The history of second-generation actors isn’t great in our industry. It’s kind of a tragic road, actually.”

On his father, Kirk Douglas: “He was a very intense, talented survivalist… He was consumed with clawing out and making something of himself, and he probably was a little early in his career to have children. Certainly didn’t get a chance to enjoy them until later in life.”

On producing Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest, and not casting his dad: “My father has played up his disappointment with that pretty good,” says Douglas, managing a chuckle. “God bless him, he’s 93. I finally said, ‘Dad, I worked six years getting this together … ’ I have to remind him, I shared part of my producing back-end with him, so he ended up making more money off that movie than he had in any other picture.”

On Oliver Stone: Douglas credits director Oliver Stone’s callousness in getting the performance out of him. As Douglas tells it, one day when he was in his trailer, Stone came in and said, “You look like you haven’t acted before in your life.” Douglas was immediately put on edge. “Ultimately what he was doing,” says Douglas, “he wanted a little more nastiness. The guy [Stone] is not afraid if you want to spew or vent it on him, as long as it comes out.” The role earned Douglas the Oscar for best actor.

His 1992 rehab stay: In 1992, Michael went into rehab, prompting the rumor that he was there for sex addiction. “It stuck,” he says, pinning the blame on an unscrupulous British journalist who just wanted to jazz up his story. (Kirk, who also had a fidelity problem, didn’t see anything wrong with the sex-addiction charge; he actually thought it was kind of funny.) Michael successfully completed the rehab program, but it was too late to fix his family. Just as his father had done, Michael parted ways with his wife and left behind a son who would have acting aspirations and an absent, superstar father.

Of his son Cameron‘s drug and legal problems: “We always tend to be kinder or make more of an effort to strangers than we do to the person closest to us,” Douglas says of what he’s learned about making marriages work. “Anybody who has a relative or child in substance abuse has some idea of what this feels like. This is one of those worst-case scenarios,” Douglas says. “It will ultimately be a painful lesson and very expensive as far as time is concerned. I don’t wish it on anybody, but then, you know, look, everybody’s got difficult things in life.” Though Douglas isn’t one for public hand-wringing, he can’t help but see his own role in Cameron’s fate. “My priorities were very similar [to my father’s],” Douglas says about Cameron’s formative years. “Career first.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Eh. Is it okay if I just dislike every member of this family? I think Kirk was probably one of the biggest sons of bitches ever, and Michael doesn’t seem like the best guy either. As for Cameron? Well, maybe ten years in prison will get him to wake up and take some responsibility. That being said, I just re-watched Romancing the Stone, and Michael used to be so good-looking and so cool! I love that movie. I wonder if Michael’s going to have some kind of late-life career renaissance now that Wall Street 2 is coming out? Weirder things have happened.


Annie Leibovitz photograph of Michael Douglas for Vanity Fair, courtesy of VF online and the NY Post and Fashion Spot.

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23 Responses to “Michael Douglas was never a sex addict, but was a bad father”

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  1. Constance says:

    I agree. I don’t find a very sympathetic part of my heart for anyone in this family. I’ve always thought “WTF?! Zeta -Jones?!” but the Douglas family has no end to $ signs.

  2. Roma says:

    Ugh. The Vanity Fair article makes me like him even less.

    My father struggled with addiction (alcoholism) as did his two biological children. But all the while my dad was was an amazing father and pulled himself into sobriety for the sake of his family and helped my brothers to do the same.

    I do believe addiction is genetic. My father is an amazing man. Michel Douglas is a douche.

  3. ogechi says:

    Seriously bad!!!

  4. simplicity says:

    I can’t take sides on this issue, I see the pain in both.

    MD has worked through the issues with his dad. Hope Cameron can do the same.

  5. mslewis says:

    I can’t work up any sympathy for any man who neglects his family for a career of any kind. But, a 30 year old man should not still be crying that it’s his daddy’s fault that he sold drugs. Especially when Cameron had a trust fund and didn’t need the money.

    I have to say that reading about old actors like Douglas and how they put career first and ignored their children is why I admire Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for taking their children with them everywhere they go when filming a movie. Some people might think they “belong in school” or “need stability” but to me waking up every morning and seeing your parents is far better than being left behind and only seeing them every few months.

    Anyway, Cameron Douglas will probably be sentenced to 10 years and it will do him good, hopefully.

  6. EMV says:

    This is sad

  7. OXA says:

    I had heard about his bed-hopping way before he went to rehab, in fact his stay was the first time I ever heard the term “Sex Addiction” I guess it was just coincidence that Cameron only had male nannies.

  8. prettytarheelfan says:

    LOL, my husband made me watch Romancing the Stone for the first time this weekend! Soooo cute!
    That being said, this is a screwed up family! Yes, addicts often have genetic predispositions, but at some point, you must be responsible for yourself. Break the cycle, don’t perpetuate it!

  9. sillypeople says:

    I have a hard time feeling bad for people who blame their parents for their addictions. I too have a parent who is/was a serious addict. That is exactly why i do the exact opposite in my lifestyle. People know right from wrong…its called common sense. Drugs are bad DUH!! I think its more of..I can get away with this b/c my father is so and so.

  10. Sincerity says:

    As an adult, Cameron Douglas is ultimately responsible for his own actions regardless of his upbringing. Living in the shadows of both a very famous father and grandfather did not force him into addiction. Cameron chose to become an addict and only he can choose to end it. The list is endless of people who have had crappy childhoods. At some point, a person has to decide to transcend their upbringing and move on with their life. Cameron was blessed with a family that cared enough to help him and he threw his opportunities “under the bus”. Thank GOD, due to his family, he won’t have to deal with many of the struggles a typical felon does once he’s released from prison. He’ll still be able to lead a very productive life, if he chooses.

  11. Vanessa says:

    He and Kathleen Turner had an affair while working on Romancing the Stone. I LOVE the movie, but that turned my stomach. He told her he was separated and one day his wife showed up on set…

  12. Ophelia says:

    My older brother is in his 40s and has dealt with addiction all his life. I have a hard time finding sympathy for anyone with addiction issues who can’t seem to take responsibilty for themselves. I realize it is hard to overcome, but many do. My brother has gotten clean and sober before for fairly long periods of time. He admits that sobriety can be boring and that is one of the reasons why he “slips up.” Cameron should stop blaming everyone for his crap and grow up. Just because Daddy wasn’t around doesn’t give him the excuse to keep screwing up. If that was the case, many of us would could use it.

  13. canadianchick says:

    Oh c’mon Cameron, we’ve all had crap in our childhoods at some point. Even if addiction is in the genes we don’t have to continue the cycle, or if we do slip into there’s plenty of help out there to break it. Cameron grow up, take responsibilty, use your prison time to get clean and get an education so you can do something productive with your life.

  14. lucy2 says:

    He certainly had a higher chance of being an addict, given his family, but you’d also think knowing that he grandfather & father struggled, and uncle DIED from drugs, he’d have tried harder not to.
    However, if he truly was selling, not just using, you can’t blame that on a predisposition to addiction. That’s just being a low life.
    Until he takes responsibility for himself, he’s never really going to find recovery.

    I do find it a little funny that CZJ tries to give off an aura of superiority, when she married into a rather crappy family full of addicts, cheaters, and criminals.

  15. nj says:

    Ugh. You can tell that because he is a huge star and worth millions he feels he is one hundred percent justified in being a absent father. He is not losing any sleep over it.

  16. Taya says:

    Michael Douglas reminds me of most men out there. He puts his new wife and family over his ‘other’ children. Zeta-Jones just sounds like a callous bitch when describing Michaels amazing relationship with his ‘new’ children while ignoring his ‘other’ children. I somehow think that Catherine wanted Michael to continually ignore Cameron because he was not as important as her kids. Michael was a bad father to his ‘other children’..then and now.

    Oh and by the way.. Catherine was 29 when they met..ya right..maybe 39.

  17. TG says:

    The problem wasn’t his putting his career before family, it was him womanizing and running around, putting himself before his son. One can be dedicated to their career and still be a good support to their children.

  18. Eden says:

    What goes around comes around!

  19. H says:

    I read the whole article and I don’t think he’s proud of his fathering with his first son, in fact he sounded incredibly sad about the whole thing. He’s trying not to make the same mistakes with his younger children. At some point children are responsible for there own behavior. Cameron had plenty of money why not get some therapy to deal with your parent issues instead of doing drugs. Instead he decided to go into the drug selling business and now he’s going to pay with time. I think the whole thing is sad all around.

  20. Legend says:

    I hate this useless old fuck. I’ve read a lot of interviews with him and he’s very full of himself (i.e. shit).

  21. CeeCee12 says:

    One of my friends used to work for Michael Douglas. She practically lived with them and she told me Cameron was doing drugs as a young teen. He has been messed up for a long time. No one stepped in then because the adults were completely self absorbed. He needed guidance then and no one was around so in a way I feel sorry for Cameron. She said he was a cool kid but neglected.
    I think he hates his father which is why he would do something like this. What he fails to understand is that by hurting himself he is not getting back at Dear old Dad. He is only destroying himself.
    The stories I have heard about Kirk Douglas are truly disturbing. He is a twisted individual.

    Michael Douglas had a gorgeous first wife that he cheated on constantly. He deserves a woman like Zeta who chain smoked while pregnant. Both are odious human beings.

  22. Former Bartender says:

    With Michael Douglas in the news lately due to his throat cancer, this thread truly rings true.
    I was a bartender in Beverly Hills during the early ’90’s and Michael Douglas was a frequent bar patron. He was a disgusting pig. Even the call girls working the bar stayed clear of him. He caused a big to-do at the Regent Hotel when his wife (1st) caught him in bed with her friend. Money cannot buy class. No one deserves cancer, but I wish the media would stop making him a sudden saint… plenty of good, honest people get cancer and no one hears about them. And BTW Zeta-Jones was a star-f*(ker. She was with Jon Peters before Michael Douglas. Rich powerful old dudes. Gross.

  23. Rachel says:

    I like rich famous powerful men. What girl doesn’t ? When I walk into a room all of the guys check me out. Lots of them try not to be noticed. Lots of them are wearing rings. I almost always get my man, married or not. I would do Mike Douglas in a heartbeat.