Since his childhood, Scott had things pretty rough – rougher than his younger half-siblings, anyways. Once his parents split, he and his two younger sisters would divide their time between mom and dad’s house. Later in life, he tried his hand at acting, and wound up in several films, although he never quite found his footing.
Around that same time, he was drinking pretty heavily. In January of 1978, he passed away from an accidental overdose of alcohol mixed with pain killers that he’d received for pain in his ribs, and valium he’d gotten from his psychologist.
The Butcher Shop
Porter wasn’t the only one to release a book that revealed the hidden side of Paul Newman. In 2009, Shawn Levy released 'Paul Newman: A Life,' which delves into one of his most notorious affairs. The book describes an 18-month-long relationship between Newman and journalist Nancy Bacon.
People who knew about the affair – and apparently, there were a lot – joked that he may not go out for hamburgers, but he sure went out for bacon. According to the portrayal in Levy’s book, the affair began when he was filming perhaps his biggest film in history: 'Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid'.
Again, nothing we’ve heard about Paul Newman being unfaithful to his wife has ever been confirmed, it is all simply talk from everyone who knew him in the past. But regardless of whether or not it was true, one thing was sure: he left his young wife and three children to pursue a relationship with a Hollywood starlet.
His son, Scott, was born with acting in his blood and decided to pursue a career in the industry himself. But that doesn’t mean he was going to work hand-in-hand with his father on set.
Riddled with Guilt
When the news of his son’s death got to Paul, he was absolutely devastated. But he also reported that the call didn’t come as a shock to him. In one interview, he said that he’d been expecting that call for nearly a decade. Before his own death, the actor expressed just how much he felt the weight of all of it in multiple interviews.
Since he felt helpless to get his son out of that dark place before his passing, he decided to do something to help future generations in his honor. He pledged over $1 million to assist in the opening of the Scott Newman Center.
Newman’s generous donation led to the opening of the Scott Newman Center in 1980. The premise of the organization was to help educate young people about the dangers of drug use. The primary focus of the center was their Rowdy Ridge Camp, which was a summer camp program for troubled youth.
The camp was offered free of charge, due to the families utilizing it being at or below the poverty level. It was able to run off of donations for 30 years, but sadly, it closed its doors in 2013, since it was no longer able to sustain itself.