From one of Hollywood’s most famous families arrives a book by Cameron Douglas, son of Michael Douglas and grandson of Kirk Douglas. Now on a positive and productive path, Cameron has penned a bold and often shocking book titled “Long Way Home.”
His tell-all life story reveals his drug abuse, broken promises and prison sentence from 2009 to 2016. Chronicling his addiction, self-destruction and a rebirth from what he calls psychological warfare, he spares no detail. His repeated dance with death includes a triumphant journey prevailing against all odds.
By the age of 30, Douglas had become a drug addict, a thief and— after a DEA drug bust — a convicted drug dealer. “I wanted to write a book that I felt good about, and the only way to connect with people is to be brutally honest. People can see through you if not and I bore my soul,” he shared with the AJT.
“I didn’t write the book to share a lesson. I wrote the book to gain some understanding about myself, my own life and all the years invested in reckless behavior that landed me in prison. Plus, the relationships that I damaged, to try and gain some understanding. Also, hoping to help other families that are struggling with addiction, to give them insights.”
Douglas continued, “In the throes of addiction, it comes to a point when it does not matter what anyone does, the person must get to the place where they are willing to make some changes. For some, it never happens. And for some, like me, you go through long days down the unfortunate road of drug addiction and alcohol. You hope and pray they come to that understanding sooner rather than later,” he said.
“While in prison each week, I waited for the book cart, which became a security blanket. If I had a stack of books in my cell, I knew I’d be OK. Books allowed me to take some of my freedom back, educate myself and grow. Stephen Crane’s book of short stories included ‘The Red Badge of Courage,’ which was life changing and gave me strength.”
Now Douglas hones disciplines and characteristics working towards fulfilling a better life. “I am rebuilding relationships. That takes consistency and showing up. Walking the talk, not just talking the talk.”
Regarding his family’s Jewish connection: “A fond memory is when my grandfather (Kirk) turned 70 and he had a bar mitzvah. He was a devout Jew all the way through the rest of his life. We all rallied around him and two of my younger brothers and sisters had a bar and bat mitzvah, which brought my grandfather a lot of happiness.”
Every Sunday, and to this day, we gather as a family for a Jewish breakfast at his house. We talk about our lives with Grandpa’s wife. I have a few career things cooking I just finished such as an independent film and doing a lot of writing. My book is being turned into a fictionalized television series,” he said.
“I am always learning things. My little daughter Lua (which means moon in Portuguese) is called ‘Izzy,’ named after the nickname of my Grandfather Kirk. She is my greatest teacher. We must become the energy we want to attract. It’s in a struggle where we grow.”
The memoir “Long Way Home” is a powerful story of Cameron’s descent into the depths of addiction and self-destruction, and his renewal of family ties that had become almost irreparably frayed. “Now I’m forced to make great decisions, dealing with entertainment lawyers instead of criminal lawyers, and these are the kind of decisions I want to be making. I feel very grateful for that.”
“Long Way Home” will be featured at the Book Festival of the MJCCA 8 p.m. Nov. 11.