John McEnroe Addresses His Sons Stealing His Pot and Eldest Son's Drug Arrest in New Book
John McEnroe's new memoir, But Seriously, goes on sale June 27
Tennis champion John McEnroe admits in his upcoming memoir that his then-teenage sons stole marijuana from his personal stash.
But Seriously — McEnroe’s second memoir — releases on June 27 and details his difficult transition from tennis champion to full-time father and broadcaster. In it, he writes that his second wife, Patty Smyth, had previously encouraged him to stop smoking pot.
He ignored her request, and writes that he only stopped once he was embroiled in a courtroom battle with ex-wife Tatum O’Neal. It was during the custody battle that he learned his older kids had been stealing from his personal supply. McEnroe has three children with O’Neal — Kevin, 31, Sean, 29 and Emily, 26 — and two younger daughters with Smyth.
He won custody of his three kids with O’Neal in 1995 after a messy custody battle.
McEnroe, who was known as the “bad boy of tennis” and gained notoriety for his fiery temper on the court, admits in his memoir that he reacted badly to the news that his kids had been in his stash.
That wasn’t the end of the McEnroe family’s problems with drugs.
Son Kevin was 27 years old when he was arrested in 2014 for supposed possession of cocaine and prescription meds. Later, the “cocaine” was found to be baking soda and the charges were eventually dismissed.
“Once I got arrested, I was just McEnroe’s son, McEnroe’s dopey son essentially,” Kevin McEnroe told PEOPLE in 2015 of his arrest. “It didn’t even say Kevin [in the New York Post story]. My name is ‘McEnroe’s son’. It was such a bad reflection on my family. I was very ashamed because I never wanted to do anything to him or my mom. I was too stupid to realize how big of a deal it really was.”
In But Seriously, his father writes that it was difficult to watch Kevin struggle, but he is “proud of how hard he’s worked to get his life back on track.”
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Kevin later recovered and published a novel, Our Town, which is a fictional and heart-rending account of the life of his maternal grandmother.
“When I was in rehab [my dad] said, ‘We always knew you were going to be a success,’ and that meant a lot to me,” Kevin said to PEOPLE. “It took me a lot of ups and downs to figure that out.”