Former Child Actor Makes Amends For The Drug War
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A former child actor turned recovering addict has made a public amends for his contribution to Mexico's drug war. Speaking at a rally yesterday to raise awareness of cartel violence in Mexico, John Whitaker apologized to the Mexican mothers who gave speeches about losing their children to the drug war and said he was there to ask forgiveness "if any of the drugs I used had anything to do" with any of their family members or anyone else being killed or kidnapped. "I believe I am an accomplice in the murder of some people. Absolutely," said Whitaker. "Sometime during that period of my using, especially when it was cocaine, I'm sure there are a few murdered people I am responsible for... We people in recovery, and in the consumer world, are to blame for some of it, and we've got to take responsibility." A former child actor who played the role of Jody on Family Affair, which aired on CBS from 1966-1971, Whitaker was ultimately devastated by the decline of his career that led to him working as a word processor, as well as the breakup of a later marriage. He developed an addiction to crack, cocaine and meth that lasted for 12 years. "I started on a downward spiral into alcohol and drug addiction (and rejected) God, the church, everything," said Whitaker, who was raised Mormon. "Nothing turned out the way I wanted it to." His family ultimately held an intervention and threatened to excommunicate him from the family, prompting him to enter rehab in November 1997. Since then, he's been fully clean and sober. These days, Whitaker heads the L.A. chapter of Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing.