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Todd Bridges Opens Up About Troubled Childhood In New Book

March 15th, 2010 6:00pm EDT

Todd BridgesFormer "Diff'Rent Strokes" star Todd Bridges has opened up about his drug addiction, childhood abuse and off-screen romance with late co-star Dana Plato in a candid new book.
 
The former child actor, who played beloved TV character Willis on the hit 1970s and '80s show, has put pen to paper for "Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted."
 
In the autobiography, Bridges, who claims he was physically abused at the hands of his father, pinpoints the moment that sent him into a downward spiral. The actor alleges his former male publicist performed oral sex on him when he was 12 years old, and details his horror when his father accused him of lying about the incident.

He writes, "Bringing all that up was tough in a way, but I resolved the issues. It's kind of sad to know that a grown man would take advantage of a child. But what made it more tough was that your father took the guy's side. That kind of broke me at 12 years old. I was really lost after that."

Bridges also claims Plato - who died from a prescription drug overdose in 1999 - introduced him to drugs, which led to his long battle with cocaine and crystal meth addiction.

However, the actor - who has been sober for 17 years - insists he has taken responsibility for his actions. He writes in the prologue, "Seriously, I would not change a single thing about my life."
 
Explaining why he's writing the book, he adds, "I really wanted to tell what really happened... They always want to make me blame Hollywood. That's just not the truth. You know how they say Hollywood throws childhood stars away? That wasn't true in my case."

 

Todd Bridges

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