Today in the Bizarre Lawsuits Dept.: Christian Slater's dad, Thomas Knight Slater (stage name: Michael Hawkins), is suing his ex-wife and his son for "intentionally malign[ing] and defam[ing] him," thus leading to the ruination of Hawkins' would-be acting career. Hawkins, now 80, was a soap opera actor in the 1970s and last appeared in Midnight Run in 1988 (his stage name then was Michael Gainsborough). He says his ex and Slater publicly claimed he has manic-depressive schizophrenia, and the result was that he was "blacklisted in the showbiz community," the New York Daily News reports. The National Enquirer gleefully reports that the lawsuit comes months after the tabloid revealed that Hawkins is "living off of food bank handouts." As TMZ notes, Hawkins' complaints stem from an interview Slater did last year.
Per Page Six, Slater, who had just reconciled with his father after being estranged for nine years, said in the Interview article, "He’s a manic-depressive schizophrenic. He’s always had trouble—he was a fantastic actor and extraordinarily charismatic and very, very good looking, but he had a really difficult time working with directors, collaborating with people." Per Hawkins' $20 million defamation suit, which he prepared himself sans lawyer, "Neither of the defendants has a medical credential, or the ability to diagnose manic-depressive schizophrenia, and even if that were the case, they would be bound not to disclose it to the general public." He says he was humiliated and suffered emotional distress and the "destabilizing of his well-being" while having "any hope of ever acting again ... dashed into pieces." (More on the strange lawsuit here.)