The late actor's son Scott died from a drug and alcohol overdose at the age of 28 in 1978.
Legendary actor Paul Newman died from lung cancer in 2008 at 83. Now 14 years later his posthumous memoir, Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man reveals an intimate look into his complicated life. One of the most heartbreaking moments he encountered was the sudden and tragic death of his son Scott, who died from a drug and alcohol overdose at the age of 28 in 1978, reports PEOPLE.
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In the book which is aimed to be "completely honest" the actor said, "I kept thinking he was going through a phase of adolescent bad judgment. I never thought it would be fatal. Was there some way I might have told him he didn't have to be like me?" he asked wondering if his son felt in competition with his famous dad. "That he didn't have to do macho things and could just be himself? Many are the times I have gotten down on my knees and asked for Scott's forgiveness," he continued. "I ask for forgiveness for that part of me which provided the impetus for his own destruction. What would it have taken to avert that? I'm not certain, but I don't think I could have gone into films and been a movie star. I couldn't have drunk." The father of five daughters and Scott said that "being a star throws everything out of whack for your kids." He navigated through strong feelings of guilt and shame at the loss of his son. "There is even something grotesque in saying 'Forgive me.' The energy up there that represents that kid will just give me the finger and say, 'Well, what am I supposed to do with that?' "
Paul Newman Reveals Heartbreak Over Son's Addiction in Memoir: 'Never Thought It Would Be Fatal' - People https://t.co/Ht8k8CqCx5— Regi Bonner (@regibonn) October 14, 2022
The actor also began to look inward and face his own heavy drinking. "It's an interesting challenge, how far you can take the drinking without really self-destructing," shared Newman."In the early 1970s, I think I took it as far as it could go, before realizing I had taken it that far. For someone as controlled as I am, to experience the delight, the luxury, of being out of control, and to keep yourself constantly at risk, is simply pleasurable. There are terrible things that happen with booze," Newman added. "I marvel that I survived them." In 1985 the actor pledged $1 million to establish a drug abuse center after Scott's overdose of alcohol and Valium, reports LA Times. The money was said to be used to create a “health communications research” center at USC’s School of Pharmacy channeled through the Scott Newman Foundation.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Keystone (R) Photo by Frederick M. Brown