In legal documents obtained by ET in February, Thomas Knight Slater -- who goes by the name Michael Hawkins -- cited an interview published in a December 2015 issue of the National Enquirer
where the 46-year-old actor
"described his father as suffering from manic-depressive schizophrenia." It appears, however, that the Enquirer article was sourcing an earlier interview that Slater did with Interview
magazine, where opened up about his father's alleged mental health, as well as their late-in-life reconciliation.
According to the suit, Hawkins says those comments "ruined his career in the stage, motion picture, and television industry, which he has never recovered from."
In documents filed by Slater this month, he asks that Hawkins' lawsuit be thrown out, claiming that, on more than one occasion, his father demonstrated schizophrenic behavior and has not worked in the entertainment industry since 1988.
Slater even alleges that in 1972, his father "had been taken to Bellevue Hospital in a straight jacket after threatening to kill" him and his mother, Mary Jo Slater.
The Mr. Robot star adds in the declaration that it was his understanding that Hawkins also pushed his mother in front of a car when she was pregnant with the actor. Slater also says his Uncle Stuart Slater told him that his father had been admitted to Bellevue hospital "on multiple occasions" and "had obvious mental disruptions."
In addition, Slater alleges that his "own experiences" with Hawkins is a further implication that he suffers from schizophrenia. The actor says he's received "several letters, postcards and videos over the years from the Plaintiff that are often rambling and practically incomprehensible." Slater claims one of the postcards read: "I take FULL CREDIT: I'm the vital ingredient."
Slater goes on to claim that, given these experiences with his father, he "demanded that he see a psychiatrist in order to receive his monthly stipend" that Hawkins allegedly requested from his famous son. "When I referred to my father as 'manic-depressive schizophrenic' during the InterviewMagazine.com interview [in June 2015], I genuinely believed that the Plaintiff was 'manic-depressive schizophrenic' based on all the information I had from my mother and uncles, and, more importantly, based on my father's behavior and communications with me, and about me, my mother and others over the past 30 years," Slater says.