Cameron Douglas Sentenced to Five Years in Jail

Oscar-winning actor asked judge for mercy before Cameron's drug sentencing.

ByABC News
April 20, 2010, 9:13 AM

April 20, 2010 — -- Michael Douglas got his wish: less jail time for his son. Today, Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Berman sentenced Cameron Douglas to five years in prison on drug charges.

The occasional actor and DJ had faced 10 years in prison for pleading guilty to selling bulk quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine at Manhattan's upscale Hotel Gansevoort in 2009. Berman said he wasn't convinced that Cameron Douglas would stay away from drugs when he pleaded guilty in January, and called the five-year prison sentence the 31-year-old's "last chance to make it."

In a bid to keep his son from a long stint in jail, 65-year-old "Wall Street" actor Michael Douglas hand-wrote an impassioned, five-page letter to Berman, which was made public Monday. In his letter, Michael Douglas referred to his family's history of drug abuse.

"Dear Judge Berman," he wrote, "I don't want to burden you with a litany of my son, Cameron's rehab history, beginning at 13. He's an adult and responsible for his own life. We do know, however, that genes, family, and peer pressure are all a strong influence on a substance abuser.

"For the past eight months, I have cherished my two hr. a week in person conversation with Cameron at the MCC [Metropolitan Correctional Center]. He's sober!," he continued. "I get to witness the wonderful young man he can be. He maintains his spirit, blames no one but himself, and recognizes his criminal activity began with his heroin use."

Michael Douglas suggested that his family's fame -- he's won an Oscar; his father is the veteran actor and "Spartacus" star Kirk Douglas -- could be to blame for his son's dependence on drugs.

"I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father," he wrote. "I'm not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with."

On top of that, he cited Cameron Douglas' upbringing as a source of problems.