Jake Lloyd, the actor most known for his role as young Anakin Skywalker in the 1999 blockbuster Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, suffers from schizophrenia, TMZ revealed Monday.
Lloyd was arrested and jailed last June after he led South Carolina Sheriff’s Officers on a high-speed chase.
But his recent diagnosis has resulted in Lloyd trading in his jail cell for a psychiatric hospital bed. Lloyd’s mother told reporters that she can already see improvements in her son’s mental state.
Lloyd’s deteriorated mental health may have been brought on by the massive amount of pressure and anxiety that comes with being the star of one the most beloved movie franchises in history.
At just 10 years of age, Lloyd soon found himself conducting 60 interviews a day. The constant strain of being an iconic child actor, Lloyd said, transformed his life into a “living hell.”
“Other children were really mean to me,” Lloyd said in a 2012 interview. “They would make the sound of the light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad.”
“My entire school life was really a living hell. And I had to do up to 60 interviews a day,” he said.
Lloyd, who has since given up acting, says he came to hate Star Wars and even destroyed all of his memorabilia.
“I’ve learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me,” he said.
The troubled star’s mother Lissa Lloyd, who is a talent agent, said George Lucas is the reason Jake can’t stand the Star Wars franchise.
“When you have something like that, there’s a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don’t think George did that,” Jake said.
The 27-year-old actor had his bail originally set at $10,700.
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