Michael Douglas on his incarcerated son: 'I'm very disappointed with the system'

Michael Douglas' Emmy speech may have confused some viewers who are not up-to-date on his family affairs. After the actor thanked his estranged wife Catherine Zeta-Jones for her "continued support," he finished with a "shout-out" to his oldest son, adding: "[I'm] hoping that I'll be able -- that they'll allow me to see him soon."

Cameron Douglas, 34, is the eldest son of Michael and ex-wife Diandra Luker Douglas. In 2010, he was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of heroin, and intent to sell crystal meth and cocaine out of a New York hotel room where he was staying. 

In October of 2011, Cameron plead guilty to possession of drugs in prison and was sentenced to another four and a half years -- nearly doubling his original sentence.


Michael spoke candidly to reporters in the Emmys press room about his son's battle with drug addiction and his incarceration, as well as his own changing feelings towards the American justice system.

“My son is in federal prison,” he said. “He’s been a drug addict for a large part of his life."

He continued: "Part of their punishments -- if you happen to have a slip, and this is for a prisoner who is non-violent, as about a half-million of our drug-addicted prisoners are -- they punish you. So in my son's case he’s spent almost two years in solitary confinement. Right now I’ve been told that I cannot see him for two years. It’s been over a year now. And I’m questioning the system.”

“Obviously at first, I was certainly disappointed in my son. But I’ve reached a point now where I’m very disappointed with the system. And as you can see from what Attorney General Eric Holder has been doing regarding our prison system, I think things are going to be revived, regarding nonviolent drug addicts. My last comment on that is the United States represents five per cent of the world’s population and we have 25 per cent of the world’s prisoners.” 

Cameron lost an appeal to have his sentence reduced earlier this year, and is not scheduled for release until early 2018.

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