The National Enquirer (US), July 12, 1994

'Speed' star's nightmare as dad is jailed in cocaine bust

by Reg Fitz and Dani Cestaro

"That junkie has haunted me all my life - now he's got what's coming to him!"

Red-hot movie hunk Keanu Reeves had that angry reaction when told that his father has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for cocaine possession.

The "Speed" star was devastated when his best pal River Phoenix died last year of a drug overdose. And he's determined to have nothing to do with drug users - including his estranged dad.

What's more, he's outraged that his father's shocking story has broken just as he's achieved Hollywood superstardom and a squeaky-clean hero image.

When Sam Reeves, 52, was slapped with the stiff sentence in Hilo, Hawaii, on June 23, one of Keanu's cousins called up the 29-year-old star to break the bad news.

But Keanu - who also appears in "Little Buddha" - wasn't moved by his father's plight.

"He doesn't give a damn for his dad - all Keanu was concerned with was why he should be pulled into it when he's got two movies doing business at the box office," another of the star's cousins, Leslie Reeves, told The ENQUIRER. "Keanu doesn't want to answer questions about his father's problems. He was furious!"

When Sam was busted at the Hilo airport in September 1992, he was initially charged with possession of over an ounce of both heroin and cocaine, plus drug paraphernalia.

But in a recent plea bargain agreement, the court agreed to drop the heroin and paraphernalia charges in return for Sam's plea of "no contest" to cocaine possession. Sam told the court he doesn't see himself as a criminal - he said he felt he didn't victimize anyone and believes drugs should be legalized.

But his superstar son violently disagrees.

"Drugs are truly evil - I don't even use them, but they've turned my life into a nightmare," he told a buddy.

"They took my best friend, River - and now they've put my father into prison for 10 years. If I only had the power to stamp deadly drugs out of existence, I'd do it in a second!"

Added a source close to the actor: "Keanu used to be a big party animal, but River's death was like a very loud wake-up call. Keanu still hangs out with his old buddies, but he won't stay around if drugs come out.

"With River's death, he became determined to keep anyone involved with drugs completely out of his life - even if it meant turning his back on his own father."

Sam, who's of Chinese-Hawaiian ancestry, met and married Keanu's British mom in the early 60s, and the boy was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1964. But the couple separated when Keanu was just 2, and divorced seven years later.

"Sam, who's my uncle, has not seen Keanu since he was about 13," said Leslie.

"As Keanu grew up, he was put into a position of choosing between his mom and dad - he chose his mom and never got close to his dad.

"When Keanu started to make it big in movies, his father tried to hit him up for money. But Keanu turned him down flat - he didn't want any of his money going into drugs."

Virtually the entire family sides with Keanu, Leslie said. "We love him and we're proud of him. His dad is a sad, pathetic man."

Up till now Sam has lived in a remote bungalow far out in the country outside Hilo, said a pal of Keanu's dad. "He's never made a big deal of the fact he was Keanu's father."

Still, when the actor made his first big splash as an airhead in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," his drug addict dad beamed with pride, the pal says.

"'Yeah, he is my son," he told me. "Where do you think he gets all his talent?"

And when Sam learned he was going to jail for 10 years, he was more upset for his famous son than for himself.

"I just hope I haven't disgraced my son too much," he told his pal. "I know it hurts Keanu to know that his old man is a junkie - but no matter what, I'll always love him." News of Sam's jailing has just hardened Keanu's attitude toward his father. "Dad's destroyed his own life. He has no one to blame but himself," the actor told a family source.

"He chose drugs - and I've chosen to have nothing more to do with him."

Article Focus:

Reeves Family


Reeves Family , Speed , Little Buddha , Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

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