Michael Douglas‘s son Cameron was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for dealing drugs. The sentence was less than the 10 years he could have received. Michael Douglas says peer pressure, genes and family history had something to do with Cameron‘s substance-abuse problems. In a five-page handwritten letter addressed to a New York judge, the Academy Award winner asked for mercy on his 31-year-old son."I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father," Douglas wrote. "I’m not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with."

Cameron was arrested last July in a Manhattan hotel, and by January, had pleaded guilty to dealing large quantities of cocaine and crystal meth. In his father’s letter, the actor describes Cameron’s problems as partly the result of living under the shadow of his famous family, including grandfather Kirk Douglas and stepmother Catherine Zeta-Jones. The actor also cited several Douglas family members who dealt with substance abuse issues, including Michael’s half-brother Eric, who died of an overdose in 2004.

More than his family, Cameron also received support from big names outside the Hollywood circuit. NBA executive Pat Riley joins the Douglas family in a plea to go easy on Cameron. "Cameron is not a criminal," Riley wrote. "I ask for mercy, judge." The sentence for the troubled actor will be released Tuesday. –KRIS ALCANTARA

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