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Michael Douglas: on Being a ‘bad Father’ As His Son Leaves Prison

August 2, 2016 GMT

As Michael Douglas’ eldest son Cameron Douglas leaves prison after serving time for drug-related crimes, attention returned to the times when the Academy Award-winning actor opened up about being an absentee father to his young son as he was busy making films like “Fatal Attraction” and “Wall Street.”

In 2010 Douglas talked about being a “bad father” with “Today,” soon after Cameron, 37, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possessing heroin and selling drugs.

“I’ve taken blame about being a bad father--if being a bad father is working your butt off trying to create a career at one time,” said Douglas. Cameron is the son of Douglas’ first wife Diandra, who was a “young mother, and her skill sets were limited to such an extent,” Douglas said.

Michael and Diandra Douglas divorced in 1995 when Cameron was 17. Other factors working against Cameron included the fact that Douglas struggled with his own alcohol abuse problems, going into rehab 20 years ago when Cameron was 13, and that addiction runs in both sides of Cameron’s family.

“I lost a brother with an overdose four years ago,” Douglas said. “I have another brother who has been on the program for years.”

Douglas, 71, has admitted that he become a more doting father to the two late-in-life children he had with Catherine Zeta-Jones, according to E! Online.

Now that he’s left prison, Cameron Douglas is reportedly planning to write a tell-all book about his descent from the privileged scion of a Hollywood dynasty -- which also includes his grandfather and legend Kirk Douglas -- to federal prison, Page Six reported.

A source told Page Six: “Cameron will talk about his struggle being the son and grandson of Hollywood icons, and then his bad decisions which led him to jail, and then solitary confinement.”

Following his release, Cameron plans to spend time with both his parents. And, if Michael wasn’t around much as Cameron grew up, he was a frequent presence in court to support his son as he faced prosecution, E! Online reported.

Michael Douglas also advocated for his son by speaking out about the injustices he saw in the legal system when it comes to dealing with those suffering from addiction.

Martha Ross provides celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Follow her at twitter.com/marthajross .