Palma.—For once, North American Douglas was speaking freely without answering questions conditionally.
Despite having lost some weight, Douglas appeared in good form.
He said that his widely-publicised health problems over the last year had made life particularly hard for him and that he had felt as though he had been only half “alive”.

But he was quick to give assurances that: “I'm now back on track.” “I return once a month to hospital for a check-up, and I'll need to do that for a year.” “Catherine,” he said of his Welsh-born actress second wife, “is working a great deal. She's just finished two films and is now on the point of starting another musical for the cinema, Rock of Ages. It's a musical that has been fashioned in the old Broadway style and Catherine is going to be singing in it.” Douglas said that he wouldn't categorise the last year of his life as an “annus horribilis” despite the fact that it witnessed his son by his first marriage being sent to jail, the diagnosis of cancer, and his first wife Diandra claiming half of Douglas' earnings from the film “Wall Street 2.” Douglas did see fit to say, however, that he was glad the last twelve months were over and said that he felt he was now moving away from a period of darkness into something he could describe as “light”.

Without being pressed on the point, Douglas said that the most difficult moments for him over the charges being levied against his son Cameron for drug abuse and trafficking had been the waiting for a sentence. He explained that nearly a year passed before the court made a decision and during this time Cameron had to remain in prison. “It almost came as a relief once the sentence had been read out because from that point on, it seemed to be the lynch pin of Cameron's recovery.” “Now I see him (Cameron) once every three weeks,” said Douglas. “He's in good health and appears to have taken responsibility for what has happened, in the sense that he doesn't blame anyone for his actions apart from himself. “It has been a very painful and difficult lesson for him but I believe he will emerge a much better person as a result,” Douglas said, who himself had been painfully aware of the unwanted publicity the case had brought to all members of his family.

Turning to the subject of his illness, Douglas was asked what he felt when he was told by doctors that he had cancer. “I was depressed to learn that I had reached stage 4 of the condition which is the most serious. “I had told my doctors that I had a problem some time prior to the actual diagnosis.”

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