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Douglas’s lawyer smuggled drugs in her bra

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michael and cameron douglas

REUTERS

Actor Michael Douglas and his son Cameron. File photo: REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files

 

HIS conviction for drug dealing two years ago sealed his status as the black sheep of the Douglas acting dynasty.

And, sadly, it seems jail has done little to improve matters for Cameron Douglas, son of Michael and grandson of Kirk.

On Wednesday a New York court heard how he had persuaded his besotted defence lawyer to smuggle drugs to him, hidden in her bra.

The 34-year-old admitted he had shared the drugs with other inmates, and had also smoked cigarettes, gambled, snorted substances and committed other infractions while in prison.

Following these offences, a judge doubled his original five-year sentence to ten.

The appalling history and extent of Douglas’s drug problems were revealed as his legal team returned to court to appeal against that decision.

It came just a few days after Douglas reportedly suffered a broken leg and finger in a prison attack.

Papers submitted to the appeals court revealed that Douglas had persuaded his defence lawyer to sneak drugs into prison in her bra on at least three or four occasions. Jennifer Ridha, 33, put contraband Xanax anti-anxiety pills inside a balloon, which she slipped inside her underwear.

Douglas’s current lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said she ‘apparently became enamoured of Cameron during frequent visits’.

Judge Richard Berman, who extended Douglas’s original sentence, said he had never ‘encountered a defendant who has so recklessly and wantonly and flagrantly and criminally acted in as destructive and (as) manipulative a fashion as Cameron Douglas has’.

But Mr Shechtman called the additional five years ‘shockingly long’ and said it ‘may be the harshest sentence ever imposed on a federal prisoner for a drug possession offence’.

He also blamed his client’s long history of substance abuse on a lack of parental support when he was growing up.

‘While still a young teenager, he drank heavily and began selling drugs,’ Mr Shechtman said.

‘He used illegal drugs to self-medicate – to ward off depression and panic attacks.’

Before his conviction Cameron, the only child of Michael Douglas’s first marriage to Diandra Luker, had been arrested several times over drugs but never prosecuted.

But in July 2009 he was held in a Manhattan hotel and accused of distributing and conspiring to distribute more than 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and 20 kilograms of cocaine over the previous three years.

At the time, he was so visibly high on heroin that he had to be taken to hospital before he could go to court.

It later emerged he had been injecting himself with heroin five or six times a day for the past five years, according to the new court papers.

He was released from custody on the condition that he remain under house arrest with a private security guard. But within days, he persuaded his girlfriend, Kelly Sott, to smuggle him heroin hidden inside an electric toothbrush. His bail was revoked and he was sent to prison.

He admitted narcotics distribution charges and was jailed for five years, avoiding a mandatory ten-year sentence by cooperating with investigators.

Two drug suppliers were arrested and convicted as a result of his information and Douglas testified at the trial of one.

This reportedly led to the attack this week, which is said to have happened during a prison game of American football. Mobsters allegedly put a $100 (£60) bounty on Douglas for being a ‘rat’.

At the original sentencing, Judge Berman noted that Douglas’s family had tried to help him, but he had refused, and that two decades of drug addiction treatment had been unsuccessful.

Incarceration, the judge noted, had produced the longest period of sobriety Douglas had ever known since he was 13.

But in fact he was still getting hold of drugs while behind bars, prosecutors said.

In the court papers, it emerged that Douglas – who had roles in four minor films – began using intravenous cocaine at the age of 20.

He swiftly moved on to heroin and, by the time he was 25, ‘his life revolved around [the drug]’, Mr Shechtman said.

His friends were fellow users who gravitated to him because of his access to family money, which supported their habits, the lawyer said.

He added that Douglas’s ‘exasperated’ father cut off his son’s allowance when he refused to go into rehab, forcing Cameron to turn to drug dealing to pay for his habit.

Mr Shechtman argued that the judge had gone too far with Douglas, punishing an addict for something beyond his control.

‘While we recognise that many of the words that the district court used to describe Cameron’s conduct – “reckless”, “manipulative”, “destructive” – were apt, the simple truth is that Cameron Douglas is a heroin addict who has yet to shake his habit,’ he said.

His 68-year-old father has previously said he had a strained relationship for many years with his own father, Kirk, and acknowledged that he may have repeated that pattern with Cameron.

‘Kirk was all-consumed, was overworked. Probably like myself at a certain time in my life,’ he said. - Daily Mail


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