After doing his best to avoid unwanted media attention for years, former child actor Jake Lloyd is back in the spotlight this week after being arrested for speeding and evading police.
Colleton County Sheriff Sgt. Kyle Strickland told NBC News Sunday that officers arrested Lloyd, 26, in South Carolina on Wednesday for failing to stop for officers and speeding, as well as driving without a license. His bond is set at $10,700, NBC reported.
When arrested, Lloyd told police his name was Jake Broadbent, the AP reported. However, a former talent agent confirmed Lloyd’s identity with the police, the AP reported, and the birthday and hometown of the arrested man and Lloyd are the same.
After receiving a report of reckless driving at about 2 p.m. Wednesday of last week, police caught up with Lloyd’s car on Interstate 95 and he started to drive away, Strickland told NBC News. Lloyd reportedly hit speeds of 100 miles per hour as he attempted to evade police by, among other things, driving off-road and into a wooded area and hitting several small trees before stopping.
“He starts passing cars on the double yellow line,” Strickland said. “He’s going head on into oncoming traffic.”
Strickland told NBC that it is unclear why Lloyd tried to evade police and that he “didn’t appear to be on drugs or intoxicated.”
Lloyd is best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in the 1999 “Star Wars” prequel “The Phantom Menace.” According to IMDB.com, Lloyd had several acting credits before then, including the “Jingle All the Way” and television show “ER.”
However, his “Star Wars” role made him too recognizable and brought Lloyd a wave of unwanted attention, he said in a 2012 interview with The Daily Telegraph. With staggering amounts of interview requests, plus other students constantly taunting and bringing up the movie to him, Lloyd said his life was “a living hell.”
“Other children were really mean to me,” he told the Telegraph. “They would make the sound of a light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad.”
The experience caused Lloyd to quit acting, his last credit coming in 2005, according to IMDB.com.
Child stars having run-ins with the law, or other issues, isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Mara Wilson, who starred in movies like “Matilda,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” as a young girl, wrote in Cracked two years ago that entering the spotlight at a young age creates a variety of problems.
“A lot of child stars feel like they’ll never get past what they did as a kid, that their character has taken over their life,” she wrote. “Jake Lloyd might have been melodramatic when he said ‘The Phantom Menace’ ruined his life, but it does kind of suck that years later he’s still seen as a punchline.”