Jerry Lewis' Son Recalls Years of Physical, Emotional Abuse: 'It Was Vicious'
Anthony Lewis says that while growing up, you never knew which Jerry Lewis would be coming home at night.
One of Jerry Lewis’ children says he wishes he could have had one last opportunity to tell his father he loved him, despite years of abuse and ultimately being cut out of the comedy legend's will.
“He wanted nothing to do with me,” Anthony Lewis told Inside Edition. “I knew that I wasn’t going to get anything but the real sticking point, the dagger in my heart, is for the grandchildren.”
After Lewis died, news spread that all five of his surviving sons would be disinherited, and would not be left a penny of his dad's estimated $50 million estate.
Lewis’ sons were from his marriage to his first wife, Patti Palmer, whom he married in 1944. They divorced in 1980. Anthony Lewis is son No. 5 and was born in 1959. A sixth son died in 2009, reportedly from a drug overdose.
Anthony says that when he was growing up, you never knew which Jerry Lewis would be coming home at night.
“When he would show up and park right in front of the big front door, my mom would get on the intercom and say, ‘Your father is home!’ We scattered. We could never predict his behavior on a given day," he recalled.
Anthony says he was hit with a belt on two occasions but it's the emotional abuse he says that's stayed with him.
“He was emotionally abusive every day,” he claimed.
The Lewis family lived like royalty in Bel-Air, Calif.
“It was the highest echelon of Hollywood —the absolute highest," he said. "My father was the top box office draw on planet Earth."
But over the decades, the family became estranged. Anthony even ended up filing a lawsuit against his father on behalf of his mom who had been married to the Nutty Professor star for 38 years.
“Do I let my mother go on the streets or do I sue my father?” Anthony said of the suit.
The result for Anthony was disinheritance. After their father's death, three of his five brothers were kept from the funeral.
He says he and his brothers Gary and Ron were not invited to the funeral. However, his brothers Scott and Chris were.
But even the brothers who got invited to the funeral where shut out of the will.
Lewis left his entire estate to his second wife and their adopted daughter, Danielle.
Although the comedian didn't leave his son a dime, Anthony still wishes he had one more chance to make it right.
“I am really sorry I didn't have any one-on-one time to express that I loved him,” he said.
Lewis' will was executed in 2012.
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