Suicide Threats, Arrests and Rehab: Inside Heather Locklear's Darkest Days
Though Heather Locklear has had a successful 30-year Hollywood career starring in TV shows like Dynasty, Melrose Place and Spin City, her personal life has often been riddled with pain and sorrow
The 56-year-old actress and mother to daughter Ava Sambora, 20, was taken to the hospital after a family member called 911 to report that she was threatening to kill herself. A week later, she was arrested for battery on a police officer. The incidents came four months after she was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery, which follows years of ups and downs, including stints in rehab and a lengthy battle with depression and anxiety. Below, a look inside her darkest moments.
At the age of 24, Locklear tied the knot with 23-year-old Mötley Crue singer Tommy Lee in a lavish ceremony at the Santa Barbara Biltmore on May 10, 1986.
But after seven years of marriage, the former couple divorced in 1993.
Following her divorce from Lee in 1993, the former Dynasty star married Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora on Dec. 17, 1994, in Paris.
The couple was introduced by Locklear’s friend, makeup artist Lisa Christy. Seven months later, Sambora popped the question. They welcomed one child together: daughter Ava Elizabeth, now 20.
Locklear and Sambora split up in February 2006.
“After 11 years of marriage Heather Locklear has filed for divorce from Richie Sambora,” the actress’ rep, Cece Yorke, told PEOPLE. “This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time.”
Their divorce was finalized in April 2007.
In late June 2008, Locklear sought treatment for psychological issues at an Arizona facility.
“Heather has been dealing with anxiety and depression. She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment,” said Locklear’s rep. “This is a confidential medical matter and no further statement will be released.”
During her time at the Arizona facility, Locklear remained under doctors’ care while getting therapeutic spa treatments, riding horses and spending quality time alone.
After successfully completing four weeks of treatment for anxiety and depression, she returned back home in July 2008. “Heather’s feeling really great,” said a close friend. “And she looks beautiful, just radiant.”
Locklear was arrested Sept. 27, 2008 on suspicion of DUI near Santa Barbara, California. A California Highway Patrol spokesman confirmed a concerned witness called 911 to say the actress was “driving erratically” in a parking lot, then exited her BMW on a nearby road and “stumbled into the traffic lane.”
In November 2008, Locklear had been formally charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
She pleaded no contest to reckless driving in Santa Barbara, and in exchange, a DUI charge was dismissed, a source close to the case confirmed.
WATCH: Did You See The Flashback Insta Heather Locklear Posted of Her and Tommy Lee?
On April 17, 2010, the actress was arrested – but not taken into custody – and cited with misdemeanor hit-and-run after Ventura County Sheriffs examined debris on a public street near her gated-community home and traced it back to her black 2005 BMW.
“Physical evidence established that the vehicle involved in the collision was … registered a 2005 black BMW sedan registered to Richard and Heather Sambora of Westlake Village,” Ventura District Attorney Gregory D. Totten said in a statement. “Insufficient evidence exists to establish who the driver of the vehicle was at the time of the collision. As a result, no criminal charges will be filed.”
Nine months after her arrest, Locklear’s holiday season was off to a bumpy start.
She had been hospitalized in California and was treated for a bacterial infection. The Melrose Place star was on antibiotics, but “doing fine,” her rep said.
Although their Melrose Place characters wed on TV, the actors who played Amanda Woodward and Peter Burns called off their engagement in November 2011.
“Jack and Heather are no longer engaged,” Locklear’s rep told PEOPLE.
Six years ago, Locklear was taken to the hospital after a 911 call was placed from her home.
“Emergency response personnel responded to a medical emergency call at Ms. Locklear’s residence,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Aranda told PEOPLE. “Once they arrived, it was determined that Ms. Locklear needed to be transported to the hospital for further medical attention.”
“She is in no danger and she’s going to be just fine,” her parents, Bill and Diane Locklear, said in a statement issued by Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center.
While a rep for Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center told PEOPLE that Locklear was discharged from their hospital, leaving in the care of her family, she was reportedly “out of control” when her sister dialed 911 night prior, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“Heather became a different person on drugs,” a source told the show.
Amid reports that she had entered rehab, the former Melrose Place star said in a statement to PEOPLE, “I am feeling great and am taking steps to enrich and better my life.”
She added: “Currently I am working on tying up some loose ends regarding certain issues so I can hit 2017 full steam ahead.”
Last fall, Locklear was involved in a collision and transported to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.
She went off the road and into a ditch, a spokesman for the Thousand Oaks Police Department said. Locklear was transported to the hospital with minor non-threatening injuries.
Police could not say what caused the incident but did say no drugs or alcohol were involved. She was not cited for the incident.
On Feb. 25, Locklear was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic battery. The incident allegedly began when police received a domestic violence call around 9:40 p.m., after which officers arrived at the star’s home in Thousand Oaks, California, according to The Blast.
“I don’t have any information as to whether or not an alcohol was involved, but she was extremely uncooperative right off the bat,” Sgt. Eric Buschow of Ventura County Sheriff’s Office told PEOPLE. “She became combative with the deputies to the point where she was arrested not only for felony domestic battery but three counts of battery on a police officer.”
According to a 911 call obtained by TMZ, the domestic violence call was placed by Locklear’s brother after he allegedly saw his sister and her boyfriend fighting. Reps for Locklear have no comment at this time.
The Blast reported that Locklear was arrested at 10:27 p.m. and was taken to Ventura County Jail. The former Melrose Place star was released from jail after posting bail.
“Heather is in treatment for addiction,” a friend of the Melrose Place alum told PEOPLE on March 7. “Everyone hopes she gets well, that she gets better.”
“Addiction is obviously a strong disease and as much as friends and family who love her and want her to get better and be happy, no one can do the work for her,” the friend added. “Hopefully she is getting the help she needs.”
A court dropped the domestic violence charges against her, though she still faced four counts of battery on a police officer. Ventura County District Attorney Tom Dunlevy confirmed to PEOPLE that the actress could no longer own a gun.
Locklear’s attorneys, Blair Berk and William Haney, appeared in court on April 12 to plead not guilty on five charges — four counts of misdemeanor battery on a police officer and one charge of resisting or obstructing a police officer — on her behalf as she continued treatment in rehab. Each charge carried a maximum prison sentence of one year.
The Ventura County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments responded to Locklear’s home on Sunday, according to TMZ. Audio of the dispatch obtained by the outlet said the 56-year-old actress was “agitated and violent” as she was threatening to hurt herself. Although she did not have access to weapons, the dispatch operator said she was looking for a gun to shoot herself.
Locklear was transported to a hospital for a psychological evaluation, TMZ reports.
When reached by PEOPLE, Capt. Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office could not comment or confirm the specifics of the call, but public records show that Locklear lives on the block where the incident occurred.
“At that location we contacted a person who had medical needs, and they were treated by the Ventura County Fire Department, and they were later transported to a local hospital,” Capt. Kuredjian says, adding that the subject was not armed. “There was no criminal activity. The person was not arrested.”
One week later, the actress was arrested for attacking a police officer and an EMT who responded to a disturbance call.
A family member of Locklear’s called 911 on Sunday night while Locklear was “heavily intoxicated,” according to TMZ. When police arrived, she reportedly punched an officer attempting to separate her from family. Locklear then kicked an EMT who was putting her on a gurney.
Locklear’s name is listed on the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office police log. Authorities did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Heather was taken to a hospital and then brought to jail, where she was booked for two counts of misdemeanor battery, TMZ reports. The 56-year-old is being held on $20,000 bail.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.