Johnny Lewis had mental illness, drug problems before death; had been a member of Scientology's Narconon
Investigators continue to dig up facts on former Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis, discovering that he had a history of drug abuse and a string of recent crimes. Plus, Katy Perry had to break up with him because he was crazy, you guys.
TMZ has really been laying into this one, noting that Lewis had been arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon on Jan. 3, although they don't have details beyond him being sentenced to go to rehab. He also was arrested Feb. 10 for punching some random guy walking out of a yogurt shop without cause, then being busted eight days later for breaking into a woman's house.
He was sentenced to a year in jail for the January crime, and another 303 days in jail for the battery and burglary charges, the site says. This being L.A., he was released Sept. 21 after serving an indeterminate number of days. He then killed his 81-year-old landlady Catherine Dennis and her cat, which he beat and dismembered to death with his bare hands before apparently falling to his own death.
Sources tell the site the actor had been okay until early this year, when he started taking an unspecified drug that caused a "psychotic break," TMZ says. Lewis' family says he then began to "self-medicate" to deal with this mental illness, causing all sorts of problems. They think Lewis stopped taking his subsequent medication after being released from jail, triggering Dennis' violent murder.
The site further points out that Lewis had ties to the Scientology drug abuse program Narconon, and was active in the church at least as late as 2004, according to photographic evidence of the actor as a spokesman for the program. Narconon is often accused of being a front group for convincing members to convert to Scientology. Tom Cruise has cited the program as the only truly successful rehab program in the world.
His father, Michael Lewis, once co-wrote a movie with L. Ron Hubbard about Dianetics, TMZ said. The church apparently removed references to Johnny from its website after the site contacted them and pointed out that Lewis had not been an active member for years.
Us Weekly's contribution to all this is to recount how Perry had to leave him after dating from 2005 to 2006, figuring he was bad news.
"She had to separate from him ... to get ahead and focus on her career," a source tells Us. "He was in trouble then and she couldn't help him. A lot of her songs were partially inspired by him. I know The One That Got Away and Circle the Drain are partly about him, as well as Travis (McCoy of Gym Class Heroes). But she was young and it was a time in her life she cherishes."
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, as we noted previously, said he wasn't surprised by any of this, since he knew Lewis had gone off the deep end. You'd think if friends and family knew he was mentally imbalanced, there could have been a better solution than just locking him up for awhile, then setting him loose on the streets.
[Photo: Getty Images]