A new celebrity memoir hits bookstores tomorrow, and this one is full of shocking stories you won’t want to miss!
Former child star Todd Bridges, best known as Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, bares all in his shocking but inspirational memoir Killing Willis: From Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted.
Todd has been in the news recently because of the sad and untimely death of fellow child actor and friend Corey Haim. In 2008, Todd Bridges appeared on an episode of the A&E reality show The Two Coreys in an attempt to help Corey Haim get sober.
Bridges was quoted as saying, “Corey Haim was a good friend of mine and he will be missed. Too many people are dying way too young and it’s sad because of the loved ones who are left behind to understand what happened and to feel the loss. I hope he’s in a better place. I understand his pain, but I also know now there is a way out. I hope anyone who is dealing with the same stuff gets out before it’s too late. Don’t let the death of others fool you into thinking that it cannot happen to you. If you play with fire, you will get burned.
Bridges also said he hopes that Haim’s passing will help people who are struggling with sobriety to look closely at their lives.
In his book, Bridges opens up about his life before and after Diff’rent Strokes: the incredible reversals of fortune brought on by fame and the precipitous–and very public–descent that followed; the persecution from police; the drug addiction that nearly consumed him; and the criminal charges that almost earned him a life sentence.
In his 20’s, Bridges battled a cocaine addiction for several years. In 1988, he was arrested and tried for the attempted murder of Kenneth “Tex” Clay, a Los Angeles area drug dealer, who prosecutors argued had been shot by Bridges while on a binge. Bridges pleaded not guilty to the charges and was represented by the high-profile defense attorney Johnnie Cochran. Cochran successfully portrayed Bridges as an abused minor who had been driven to drugs by an exploitive entertainment industry, and was now being unfairly framed. A witness finally testified that Bridges was not present at the time of the shooting. Bridges was acquitted of all charges by a jury.
In 1993, Bridges was involved in an altercation with a tenant, David Joseph Kitchen, in his house after a disagreement about unpaid rent. Kitchen attacked Bridges with a sword, then Bridges retaliated by stabbing him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The prosecutors dropped the charges, concluding Bridges had acted in self-defense
He appeared as a contestant on the Fox reality show Skating with Celebrities, but was eliminated on the second episode of the show. Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice on a 2002 episode of Celebrity Boxing. Additionally, Bridges appeared along with Gary Coleman and Vanilla Ice on a VH-1’s celebrity-reality show The Surreal Life.
Todd has lived a life of remarkable twists and turns and through this book offers his ordeal as a positive example for those struggling to overcome similar challenges. Today he is a working actor, director, and producer who travels the U.S., speaking at schools and churches about the dangers of drug use.
Todd will be appearing on a number of national TV shows in the coming weeks to promote the release of his book. Look out for him on Larry King Live, Access Hollywood, The Today Show and more.