'Star Wars' Actor Jake Lloyd Diagnosed With Schizophrenia While Incarcerated

By Victoria Kim 04/13/16

His mother says she's already noticed an improvement in Jake after he was moved to psychiatric care.

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'Star Wars' Actor Jake Lloyd Diagnosed With Schizophrenia While Incarcerated
Photo viaLuigi Novi/Wiki Commons

Jake Lloyd, who is best known for his 1999 role as Anakin Skywalker, has been placed in a psychiatric facility upon being diagnosed with schizophrenia. 

Celebrity gossip site TMZ broke the news that the former child actor, who starred in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace as the young Jedi who would grow up to become Darth Vader, was relocated from his jail cell where he had been living for the last 10 months. 

Schizophrenia is defined as a thought disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others, according to the Stanford School of Medicine. Its symptoms, which can be disabling, can range from hallucinations and delusions to flattened expressions of emotion and social withdrawal.

The retired actor, born Jake Broadbent, was arrested last June after leading police on a high-speed police chase in South Carolina. He drove his Nissan through two counties at speeds exceeding 100 miles an hour. Ultimately, he was charged with reckless driving, failure to stop for police and driving without a license.

After the incident, his mother Lisa Riley told TMZ that Lloyd has struggled with mental health issues since he was 19. She told the gossip site that a few months before the police chase incident, he had attacked her in her home after going off his medication. According to Riley, he came after her in her Indianapolis home in March 2015, accusing her of “ruining” his life, knocking her down and kicking her. She decided not to press charges at the time.

Lloyd’s growing discontent was evident early on, exacerbated by the pressures of being shot to international stardom at 10 years old. Nearly a decade ago, around the time he quit acting, Lloyd famously denounced his role in Star Wars, saying the film had turned his life into a “living hell.” Between having to do about 60 interviews a day and being bullied in school, he said he “learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me.”

Since the 27-year-old was moved to psychiatric care, his mother says she has already noticed an improvement in his personality. Fans and well-wishers expressed an outpouring of support on his Facebook page, which paints a picture of a full and happy life occupied by personal projects before his arrest last year. 

According to TMZ, it’s yet unknown how long Lloyd will stay in the psychiatric facility. His family says they want him to take his time to get healthy.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr