January 22, 2010 / 2:49 AM / 9 years ago

Michael Douglas admits he wasn't best dad to jailed son

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Actor Michael Douglas has admitted that he could have been a better father to his eldest son, Cameron, who is in jail after being arrested and charged with selling drugs.

Actor Michael Douglas presents an award during the National Board of Review Award ceremony in New York January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Douglas has said little about his actor son’s July 28 arrest and subsequent imprisonment other than to describe it as “devastating.” His son had been arrested previously for possessing cocaine.

But in an interview in the March/April issue of AARP The Magazine the two-time Oscar-winning actor opens up about his 31-year-old son, who could get life in prison if convicted of charges that he sold thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine.

“I’ll assume whatever responsibilities I have to. Would it have been better to have been around more? Absolutely. There were absences, and I was no angel,” said Douglas who is to reprise his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko from the 1987 movie “Wall Street.”

“Cameron has a lot of life ahead. He now recognizes his own demons and struggles.”

Douglas said his son, his only child with his first wife Diandra Luker, is a “tough kid” but he still worried about his welfare.

“He’s in a federal prison, and you’ve got some big, bad boys down there,” said Douglas.

His son was arrested at a Manhattan hotel, and prosecutors allege he shipped large quantities of drugs from California to New York via mail service FedEx.

Douglas, 65, the son of actor Kirk Douglas, said his career had been the most important thing in his life, followed by his marriage and children, but that had reversed since he married 40-year-old actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000.

The couple have two children.

“I think it’s easier for me to be a good father. I’m not so concerned about my career ... I see the confidence my kids have got versus the struggle for confidence that I had or that Cameron might have dealt with,” he said.

Douglas said he had made a conscious effort to let his young wife’s career take precedence over his own.

“God bless her that she likes older guys. And some wonderful enhancements have happened in the last few years - Viagra, Cialis - that can make us all feel younger,” he said.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy

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