Emmys: Michael Douglas mentions Catherine Zeta-Jones, imprisoned son in acceptance speech

September 23, 2013

Michael Douglas delivered one of the more memorable — if a bit cryptic — acceptance speeches at the 2013 Emmy Awards.

Douglas won an Emmy for his portrayal of Liberace in HBO’s Steven Soderbergh-directed film, “Behind the Candelabra.” He started his speech with a good dose of innuendo, teasing co-star Matt Damon, who was also nominated for his role as the musician’s longtime partner, Scott Thorson.

“This is a two-hander. And Matt, you’re only as good,” Douglas said, interrupted by his own laughter and chuckles from the audience. “You’re only as good as your other hand.”

After thanking various cast and crew members of the film, Douglas gave a “shout-out” to his son Cameron, who is in prison for drug-related offenses. As the standard musical cut-off played to let him know his time was up, Douglas added that he was “hoping I’ll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon.”

Cameron Douglas was sentenced in 2010 to five years in prison. His sentence was extended after he was caught with drugs in prison. Earlier this year, he lost an appeal that would have shortened his sentence.

Nancy O'Dell speaks to the night's big winners backstage at Sunday night's 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Entertainment Weekly reported that Douglas was less obscure about his son backstage.

“My son is in federal prison. He’s been a drug addict for a large part of his life,” the actor was quoted as saying. “Part of the punishments — if you happen to have a slip, and this is for a prisoner who is nonviolent, as about a half-million of our drug-addicted prisoners are — he’s spent almost two years in solitary confinement. Right now I’ve been told that I can’t see him for two years. It’s been over a year now. And I’m questioning the system.”

The statement echoed sentiments from an essay his son wrote from prison. “Instead of focusing on how many individuals this country can keep imprisoned, why can we not focus on how many individuals we can keep from coming back,” Cameron Douglas wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Douglas also used his speech to thank his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who hit the red carpet in China over the weekend. The mention likely raised a few eyebrows as the couple recently announced their separation after 13 years of marriage.

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.
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