Micheál Neeson, son of Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, has revealed that he had a "delayed reaction" to her passing in 2009
The life of Liam Neeson's son Micheál changed forever in 2009 on the death of his mother actress Natasha Richardson. Now 19, he works as a fashion gallery curator in London and is close to his Oscar-winning maternal grandmother Vanessa Redgrave.
However, he has spoken for the first time about how the devastating loss affected his teenage years, admitting that grief led him down a path of excessive partying. It wasn't until last year with the help of his father and younger brother Daniel, that Micheál was able to get his life back on track.
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Micheál Neeson (right) in 2014 with his uncle, cousin and grandmother Vanessa Redgrave
The partying was, he confesses, a "delayed reaction" to her death. "Of course, when it happened it was devastating", Micheál told the Sunday Times Style magazine.
"But in my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside. And so, within the next week I was like, 'OK, get on with my life'."
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Micheál was studying at a New England boarding school when Natasha died after falling during a skiing lesson in Canada. Speaking to the magazine, Micheál revealed that after school he was "in New York, partying a lot, looking for self-gratification".
Natasha Richardson was a Tony award winner and known for her stage work
He adds: "Everybody said, 'This kid has lost his mum, that's where the problem comes from.' And I was, like, 'No, it isn't, I just like to party."
It was after the teenager hit "rock bottom" that he realised he needed help. "Last spring, things just started going downhill," he said.
"The people I was with, we were partying a lot. I couldn't leave my house. I was unmotivated, couldn't wake up in the morning. It was dark. I hit rock bottom and couldn't do anything."
Micheál (right) in 2012 with his younger brother Daniel, who is now 18
Micheál sought help at a centre in the Utah desert where he slept in a tent. He has been sober ever since.
"Not having the mother figure definitely set the balance of the family off," he admitted. "I am the eldest. When I was younger, I was more of a momma's boy, my brother was more of a dad's boy. So I took solace in my friends, just living with different families."
Now living in the UK, Micheál has credited his father Liam, the star of the Taken series, for helping him to turn his life around.
"He came from a small town, Ballymena." said Michael. "His mum was a dinner lady at the school, his family ran a pub.
"It took him years to make it. He's an inspiration. He's a hard-working man, his mindset is still like his parents, I respect that."