Actor Todd Bridges is "a sick kid" victimized by drug addiction, according to the mother of the former teen-age star of "Diff'rent Strokes," who is jailed on attempted murder charges.
"It's hard to believe it's come to this," said Betty Bridges, adding that family problems and early celebrity status have hurt her 23-year-old son.Earlier this month, Bridges was charged with shooting Kenneth Clay, 25, in both arms and the chest in a house known as a drug hangout. An associate, Harvey Duckett, 30, is accused of slashing Clay's face with a knife.
Bridges is being held without bail until his preliminary hearing Friday and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
"I don't know what a drug addict is capable of," his mother said last week. "But I know that Todd Bridges, my son, is not capable of shooting someone like that."
The attack came 10 days after Bridges was arrested for investigation of possessing cocaine near the house, police said. Previously, he received a suspended sentence in January 1987 after pleading no contest to making a bomb threat, and he was fined for carrying a concealed weapon in 1983.
"The drugs and the pressure have made Todd a sick kid and he shouldn't be made out to be some criminal," Mrs. Bridges said in an interview in Sunday's LosAngeles Daily News.
She said her 1984 divorce from James Bridges contributed to their son's troubles. "I'm only just understanding how deeply hurt Todd was," she said.