Former star Leif Garrett’s arrest Monday for alleged possession of a controlled substance is only the latest drug-related setback for the 48-year-old in a string of incidents stretching back three decades.
In 1979, shortly before turning 18 and high on a mix of quaaludes and alcohol, Garrett drove off a Los Angeles freeway and careened down an 80-foot embankment. The crash left his friend and passenger, Roland Winkler, paralyzed from the waist down. Winkler’s family sued Garrett and won a $7.1 million settlement.
As his singing and acting career faulted in the early ’80s — including a disappointing solo album and a small role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” — Garrett continued to struggle with drugs. In 1997 he was arrested for cocaine possession . In 1999, just months after a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode engineered a reunion between Garrett and Winkler, Garrett was busted for cocaine and heroin possession in a Los Angeles apartment building. As part of a plea-bargain deal, he was ordered to rehab. In March 2001, an L.A. judge issued an arrest warrant for Garrett after he failed to appear in court for a progress report . But days later, after submitting evidence that he had successfully completed the terms of the deal, an L.A. court dropped the ’99 case .
Yet drugs continued to plague Garrett. In 2005 he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of cocaine-based narcotics and was placed on probation. While waiting for an L.A. train the next year, he was arrested for drug possession and spent 90 days behind bars.
In this latest incident, Garrett was again arrested while waiting for an L.A. train after police officers allegedly saw him acting in a suspicious manner. The officers searched him, reportedly found unspecified drugs in his possession and arrested him (TMZ cites “law enforcement sources” as saying Garrett was found with black tar heroin in his shoe). He posted bail on Wednesday (February 3) and was released from jail. A court appearance to address the arrest was set for February 24.