Liam Neeson's Son Says He 'Hit Rock Bottom' After Mom's Death
Micheél Neeson says he struggled with alcohol and drug addictions after the death of his mother, Natasha Richardson
Micheél Neeson, the teenage son of Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, has said in his first-ever interview that he descended into a “dark” world of alcohol and drug abuse after the death of his mother in 2009.
Just 13 when his mother died after a tragic skiing accident in Canada, Micheél Neeson struggled to cope with the magnitude of his loss.
“In my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside,” he told The Sunday Times newspaper, adding, “And so, within the next week I was like ‘Okay, on with my life.’ ”
Instead of grieving, the troubled teen hit the party scene in New York – where he started to smoke marijuana and drink heavily. “Last spring, things just started going downhill. The people I was with, we were partying a lot,” he said. “It was dark. I hit rock bottom.”
Looking back, the self-professed “mama’s boy” said he was struggling to deal with his loss. “Everybody said, ‘This kid has lost his mum, that’s where the problem comes from.’ And I was like, ‘No, it isn’t, I just like to party.’ But looking back I realize it was a delayed reaction.”
With the help of his family (he calls Vanessa Redgrave “an awesome grandma”) and friends, as well as a stint in wilderness therapy in Utah where he got sober surviving for months on dehydrated food in the desert – today, the 19-year-old is living in London. A former intern at Savile Row and Celine, he is now working as a fashion gallery curator.
But he may follow in his mother’s footsteps yet. “Acting is a huge interest,” he said, although his dad, whom he calls “an inspiration” due to his work ethic, is not so keen. “My dad says, ‘Please, can you just be a farmer or a bartender or something?’ ”
The younger Neeson added that he thinks Richardson, who was born into one of Britain’s most powerful thespian dynasties, would approve.
“She never vocalized it, but I know that my mum liked the idea of me becoming an actor. She would have thought that was cool.”