Michael Douglas has taken a big risk asking his son, bad boy Cameron Douglas to be his best man at his upcoming wedding to Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Cameron, a 20-year-old little-known Manhattan DJ, spent most of the past five years embarrassing his famous father with high-profile drug busts and booze-ups.
In October 1999, he was arrested for possession of cocaine in the lobby of his Greenwich Village apartment building. He also spent time in a California youth jail for drinking and driving.
Cameron's problems run in the family. Michael Douglas and his younger brother, Eric, waged battles with booze, and Eric also has a record of drug arrests.
While Cameron may have inherited his family's weaknesses, he admits his name has been a boon to his career.
"It's helpful because it gets me jobs. But if you get a job solely on your name and you suck, you just look like a real a- - - - - -," Cameron said. "Your name will give you the first shot, but that's it."
Patricia De Luca, associate editor of DJ magazine Mixer, said Cameron's name has been a double-edged sword.
"It's opened a lot of doors for him, but people unfamiliar with the scene might go see him because of who he is, and people involved in the culture might ignore him for the same reason."
Cameron's girlfriend, Jennifer Gatien, 25, a promoter for her club kingpin father, Peter, has admitted the Limelight first invited Cameron to spin because of his name. Now he has a regular Saturday nightspot.
The only child of Michael's first marriage to Diandra, a model, Cameron split his childhood between New York and Santa Barbara, supervised by a caretaker, as his parents juggled their careers.
"Sometimes he would come home from school and say, ‘You know, dad, the only reason the kids like me at school is because of you. Because you're hot - and girls like you,'" Michael Douglas recalled recently.
"I said: ‘Cameron, I remember exactly that as a kid, and felt the same thing. They'd say ‘He's Kirk Douglas' son.'"
Cameron's first brush with the law came in 1994, when he got probation for a brawl in California. Drug testing and curfews were part of the plea-bargain, and after an unspecified violation, he was jailed.
In 1996, a drunk Cameron ran a red light in Santa Barbara, smashing into a Secret Service agent's car. He got four months.
After dropping out of community college, Cameron moved to New York in 1998 to pursue a music career, but he couldn't clean up his act.
There was the cocaine arrest in 1999, after which charges were dismissed and he was sentenced to two days of community service.
Close friend Jake Spitz insists his trouble-prone buddy has bona fide turntable talent.
"Jennifer's a lifelong friend, and she introduced us when Cameron was playing a VIP party," Spitz said. "I thought to myself ‘He's so good.' He's now like Mark Ronson [another celebrity-offspring DJ] used to be like before he got big."
Recently, Cameron has expressed an interest in the family business and won a small part as an Eminem-style rapper in the indie movie Pot Luck.”
His struggles have left an impression on his dad, who promises to be a better father to his and Zeta-Jones' newborn, Dylan.
"When Cameron was growing up, I had so much work," Michael Douglas said. "We all make mistakes as parents, and I haven't been there as much as I would have liked over the years.
"I'm very proud of Cameron. He's still young and he's got into his fair share of trouble, but hopefully he has learned his lesson. – Albawaba.com.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)