In Jennifer Ridha's upcoming book Criminal That I Am, she writes, "Like many unconventional romances, ours is over far too soon. Unlike many unconventional romances, ours is cut short due to our having collectively committed a federal offense."
Like many women, former lawyer Jennifer Ridha did something stupid for a guy she loved. Unlike many women, she smuggled a famous actor's son drugs in prison and then wrote what seems like a rather unrepentant book about it, and then published an excerpt in The Hollywood Reporter.
Cameron Douglas, the son of Michael Douglas and the grandson of Kirk Douglas, was addicted to drugs in his youth, which led to an arrest for possession with intent to deal. Ridha, then a recent law school graduate, became a part of Cameron's legal team in 2009. She admitted to feeling insecure and unsure about her professional future when she just happened to also realize she had feelings for Cameron.
"Once in a group meeting, our legs serendipitously touch," she writes. "When I reflexively pull mine back he uses his ankle to still it in place, the inside of his calf leg now pressed purposely against the outside of mine. The surreptitious tangle of our legs is like everything that comes with Cameron: I know I shouldn't, but I do."
And oh, the things she knew she shouldn't do but did anyway!
The next year, she visited Cameron in prison, where he claimed he was not getting the prescription medication he needed to control his depression due to red tape. So Ridha — a Columbia law school grad — did what she considered the only reasonable course under the circumstances: She smuggled prescription sedatives into the correctional facility for him.
He instructed her on how to do it (put them in balloons for him to shove up his butt! duh!) and swore he wouldn't tell a soul and would totally take the fall if he got found out.
Soon, unsurprisingly, he asked her for more. She filled a dollar-store balloon with 12 pills and discreetly excused herself to the bathroom while he packed away the contraband.
"In the grimy prison bathroom, there is a faint stench of urine in the air. As I stand there, my shoes sticking to the tile floor, I already seem to know that I have chosen the wrong path, a path almost certain to cause harm to someone whom I ostensibly love," Ridha writes.
Shortly thereafter, Ridha was arrested for providing contraband to a federal inmate. Cameron, who so desperately needed those pills just to survive until his sentencing, split his goodies with some friends, one of whom was a government informant. Somehow, inexplicably, authorities figured out what happened, despite Cameron's promises that that wouldn't possibly happen.
(For the record, this all happened in the year after Cameron's actual girlfriend, Kelly Sott, was found smuggling him heroin on a toothbrush. In the THR excerpt, this incident is not mentioned.)
"In truth, I am still not quite sure which part of having feelings for Cameron is supposed to be embarrassing," Ridha writes. "The fact that I started a relationship with a client? The fact that he is the son of a celebrity? The fact that he has dabbled both personally and professionally in the narcotic arts?" (In case you're reading this, Ms. Ridha, the answer is "probably a little of the first, a little of the third, and the fact that you smuggled him drugs in prison while you were acting as one of his attorneys.")
Ridha ended up not having to go to prison for her crimes, but Cameron got nearly five years added to his sentence for the aforementioned toothbrush full of heroin smuggled in by a different woman, as well as Ridha's bra-load of sedatives.
Naturally, like any love story, the two could not be kept apart: In 2012, Cameron called up Ridha and confessed his love for her. Oh, and also, could he come live with her when he gets out of prison in 2017?
She vied for "understatement of the year" by telling him she didn't "know if that's such a good idea" and suggested he focus on getting released first. Then ended the call by saying she loved him too.
Ridha's memoir, Criminal That I Am, comes out on Tuesday, May 12.
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