'The Expendables' and "The Young and the Restless" star Eric Roberts gets candid with our own Samantha Harris about his struggle with drug addiction, the mistakes he's made in the past, his relationship with sister Julia Roberts and his hard-fought redemption on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."
"I've been a pothead all my adult life," says Eric. On "Celebrity Rehab," he specifies, "Anything bad or negative that ever happened in my career or in my personal life had to do with the abuse of drugs, completely."
Asked what made him start smoking pot, he tells Samantha, "I liked it, it makes me nice, and I'm basically by nature a curmudgeon, so smoking pot makes you very pleasant." He adds, "I did cocaine all the time for about 10 years."
In the early '80s, Eric's career was full steam ahead, with memorable performances in such movies as 'Star 80,' 'The Pope of Greenwich Village' and 'Runaway Train,' for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. But drugs derailed his career, and a car crash nearly killed him.
"I just had to fight for my physical survival after that," says Eric, who had been in a coma. "I was so broke and so hurt, I thought if I don't get well in a certain time frame I'm gonna end this."
Eric married his wife Eliza in 1992. Although cocaine-free, he was struggling with the side effects of prescription medications, and in 1995 his life reached a boiling point: He was arrested for suspected spousal abuse.
"We had a huge argument," recalls Eric. "She was begging me not to drive my car, and I pushed her away and I get in the car and drove away."
"It's a good thing because it's a wake-up call," says Eliza.
Fifteen years later, their marriage is as strong as ever, and Eliza says that Eric hasn't done any alcohol or drugs beside pot since 1995. "To be honest, if that hadn't stopped, I wouldn't have stayed," she says.
Eric also talks about his relationship with sister Julia Roberts, and says tabloid reports of their estrangement are baseless.
"We have our arguments and we have our love," he reports. "The press understands less than one percent of it. We don't have problems. We talk almost every day via e-mail and we're great and have been for years."
The former Oscar nominee adds humbly, "I am more famous for being brother to a very famous sister and father to a very famous daughter."
That daughter, of course, is Emma Roberts, and Eric says, "We don't have a broken relationship. We never did, and my child is someone that I'm very proud of and I also don't want to ever embarrass her."
Eric says he has been sober for about 150 days, ever since "Celebrity Rehab."
"What I got out of 'Celebrity Rehab' was more than I ever bargained for," he says. "I learned more in that three weeks about kindness than I've learned in the past 25 years from anybody except my wife."
Season four of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" premieres December 1 on VH1, with a cast that also includes Jeremy London ("Party of Five," "7th Heaven"), Rachel Uchitel (infamous party planner), Janice Dickinson ("The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency"), Leif Garrett (musician), Frankie Lons (Keyshia Cole's Mother), Jason Wahler ("The Hills") and Jason Davis (socialite).