How Jeremy London's Addiction Hurt His Career and Family
By John Mitchell Posted Jul 1st 2010 04:05PM
Now, as he attempts to silence those closest to him, saying that his mother and twin brother's recent statements to the press threaten his career and the legal investigation into his kidnapping claims, his fans are left to wonder what happened to the actor? How did the 'Party of Five' and '7th Heaven' heartthrob fall so far?
Ten years ago, London seemed poised for big things. He was just ending a nearly five-year run on the acclaimed series 'Party of Five.' London played Griffin Holbrook, the love interest of actress Neve Campbell's character Julia. Just two years after 'Five' went off the air, London resurfaced on another TV hit, '7th Heaven,' where he played Chandler Hampton, a young minister.
It was after departing 'Heaven' in 2004 that his problems with drugs began. Talking to PEOPLE in April, London relayed how far he'd spiraled, telling the magazine, "There were times I didn't care if I died ... I felt like I was losing everything."
"Deep down, most addicts in active addiction believe themselves to be worthless. So it's no surprise that they would, in a sense, act out what they believe about themselves," Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the acclaimed author of 'American Anonymous,' a chronicle of the lives of eight addicts over the course of three years, and editor of The Good Men Project, a new web-based men's magazine, tells PopEater.
Many have wondered why London would seemingly cast aside a career rife with potential and fall into the oblivion of addiction, but Denizet-Lewis notes that addicts generally feel unworthy of their accomplishments, which leads to self-destruction. "If you don't believe you deserve what you have, you're going to go about systematically tearing it apart," he says.
While there is no conclusive evidence that London's abduction did not happen, addiction experts, as well as the actor's family, have publicly expressed doubts regarding the incident, saying addicts will often use a seemingly nonsensical story such as London's in an attempt to hide that they are using drugs or somehow shift the blame if they are caught.
The actor's twin brother, Jason, who is also an actor, tells PEOPLE that the family is concerned for Jeremy's well-being. "We love Jeremy, we only have his best interests at heart," Jason says. "We feel he needs serious psychological help and drug treatment as soon as possible."
Speaking to RadarOnline, Brandon Adams, a 26-year-old man arrested in connection to the alleged kidnapping, counters the actor's claims about the events of that evening. "We got drunk, and I hooked him up with some Ecstasy and Xanax, and we took a joyride and partied for hours," Adams says.
In addition, Radar reports that the actor and his ex-wife, Melissa, both undergo drug testing as part of an ongoing custody dispute over their 3-year-old son, Lyrik. (Melissa's mother currently has custody of the child.) Were he caught using, London could suffer serious consequences, including the long-term loss of custody of his young son.
According to Denizet-Lewis, "I understand how difficult it is for those who aren't severe addicts to understand how someone can throw away so many good things in the pursuit of a high, but the addict's brain has literally been hijacked. Nothing else matters. That's why someone like Jeremy London -- or the millions of other Americans who throw away their lives every day in the pursuit of their addiction -- can behave in a way that rationally makes no sense."
London recently asked a California court to issue an injunction to stop his mother, Deborah Nielson, his brother Jason and Jason's fiancée, Sofia Karstens, from speaking to the media, claiming their interviews have hurt his career and reputation and jeopardized the ongoing kidnapping case. For his part, Jason worries that his brother's current behavior is being influenced by drugs, telling PEOPLE, "The fact that he's lashing out against his own family and has shut us out is just one more sign of how sick he really is."
A judge rejected actor Jeremy London's request to bar his mother and twin brother from giving interviews about the actor after a brief hearing Thursday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Irving Shimer said the comments made by London's family were protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, and he would not prevent them from giving future interviews.
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