For most parents, having a kid in jail would be a total nightmare.
For Michael Douglas, it's a bit like waking up.
The Wall Street actor appeared on the Today show this morning for a frank interview regarding his 31-year-old son Cameron Douglas' recent drug sentence. He's downright hopeful.
"Look, my son was a drug dealer and he's been trying to kill himself for a while and I can't condone his behavior," he told Matt Lauer. "I think the court recognized his drug addiction as well as the crime that he committed. It's an adequate amount of time...to spend in jail, and the best part of it is he will be able to start his life afresh."
Cameron's sentence—five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for heroin possession and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine—was met with some controversy, largely because his famous father and stepmother, Catherine Zeta-Jones, wrote letters to the judge that wound up in the media's hands.
"I think any person can understand writing letters for leniency," Michael said. "The fact that the letters were published was not what we understood. We believed that they were personal letters to the judge that were to be sealed."
As he did in his letters, Michael is taking some responsibility for Cameron's addiction, admitting to not always being there as a father and recognizing his own previous history.
"Certainly family has a lot to do with it. I've taken blames about being a bad father, if being a bad father is working your butt off trying to create a career at one time," he said. "When I had Cameron I was early in my career, and as opposed to most jobs, making movies takes you all around the world, so you were absentee in that sense...We chose not to be living in Los Angeles but living outside, so you had to travel.
"I've also confessed the fact that I was in rehab 20 years ago...The other part, of course, is genes. I lost a brother with an overdose four years ago. I have another brother who has been on the program for years. My ex-wife's family has alcoholism running in it."
But he's not shouldering all the blame.
"You have that part and then you finally end up with who you choose to hang out with. In Cameron's position, he took a lot of lowlifes and he was a very attractive target to hang out with and I don't think that helped, either."
Michael also declares that his perspective on family is different since Cameron was a kid.
"My priorities have completely changed," he declared. "My marriage and my families come certainly before my career."
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Did you see Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra at court?