Cameron Douglas, the son of Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, was sentenced on Tuesday to 5 years in prison for possessing heroin and dealing large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine out of a New York hotel room, according to Reuters.
Cameron Douglas, 31, pleaded guilty to the charges in January, following his arrest last year at the trendy Gansevoort Hotel in Manhattan.
In court, Cameron Douglas apologized to his family for “this nightmare of my own making” and admitted to a long heroin addiction.
“I believe, your Honor, that things will be difficult this time,” he told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman.
Relatives including his dad, Michael Douglas; his grandpa Kirk Douglas, and his stepmom, Catherine Zeta-Jones, had sent letters to Berman, pushing for rehab instead of jail for the 31-year-old, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Judge Richard Berman said earlier that he was not confident that the 31 year-old would turn his back on drugs after he pleaded guilty in January to drug charges.
The judge also said he had taken into consideration more than two dozen letters written on the defendant’s behalf. These included a five-page handwritten letter from his father and a letter from his mother, Diandra, both of whom admitted they had failed their son.
Michael Douglas asked the federal judge in New York to show leniency towards his drug-dealing son, saying that the family’s fame and history of substance abuse contributed to his descent into addiction and crime.
“I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father,” said Douglas, whose own father is actor Kirk Douglas. He was treated for alcohol abuse in the 1990s. His half-brother, Eric, died in 2004 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription pills.
“I’m not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with. I love my son, but I’m not blind to his actions. I don’t want to see him break,” the actor said in a letter made public on the eve of his son’s sentencing.
In a separate letter, Michael Douglas’ wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, also wrote words of support: “Never, in my experience over the years, has Cameron shown any signs of the disease, that has tormented him, toward his siblings, or has (he) ever been abusive to us as a family at any time,” she wrote. “My stepson is a caring, considerate, worthy human being.”
Cameron, who was arrested in July at a Manhattan hotel, had admitted that he dealt methamphetamine and cocaine. The charge carried a mandatory 10 years in prison but his lawyers argued for a shorter term.
Sentenced to five years in prison, Douglas will be credited with time already served. He has been in prison nearly a year. He also has agreed to cooperate with agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who are pursuing other cases, authorities said.[via Daily Telegraph (UK) and Reuters]