Cary Grant Took LSD Every Day For 10 Years, According to an Ex-Wife

There’s no shortage of modern-day celebrity scandals. Whether it’s getting caught in a steamy affair that scandalizes a married celebrity, getting in trouble with the law, or going on a binge of illicit substances and bad behavior, there are plenty of headline-grabbing stories to keep fans aghast.

As time goes on, though, actors from the past turn out to have plenty of skeletons in their closets as well. Sometimes we didn’t hear about these scandals in their own time simply because the level of media scrutiny wasn’t as intense. Other times, the behavior wasn’t as scandalous then as it seems through modern eyes. 

One star from the past whose legacy has been tarnished with reports of bad behavior is Cary Grant, and one of his ex-wives is spilling the tea. 

Cary Grant was an early movie star

Cary Grant leaning on his folded hands, looking to the left, in black and white
Cary Grant | Robert Coburn Sr/Getty Images

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Born in 1904 in England, Grant was born at just the right time to be there for Hollywood’s rise. He ran away from home at the age of 13 and took up juggling with a comedy troupe to make ends meet. The troupe toured the United States, and it was there that Grant began working on his acting skills in plays, including some on Broadway.

His career took off, and he eventually signed with Paramount Pictures in the 1930s. Grant would spend the next three decades making a name for himself in some of Hollywood’s biggest pictures.

The actor was known for his charm, grace, and sophistication — qualities he brought to the screen in roles for films like This is the NightThe Philadelphia Story, and Penny Serenade. He would get two Academy Award nominations and eventually win an honorary lifetime achievement award from the Academy. Grant died in 1986

Cary Grant’s personal life was far messier than his on-screen persona

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Grant may have captured Hollywood’s imagination as a debonair leading man who was the epitome of smooth, but his real-life romances were marked with chaos. He was married five times, and divorced four. Many of his ex-wives have described him as controlling.

His fourth wife was Dyan Cannon, and she and Grant produced Grant’s only child — a daughter named Jennifer Grant. Following their divorce, Cannon had quite a bit to say about her marriage to Grant, and much of it was scandalous.

She alleged that Grant tried to control her every move, including the way that she dressed. Cannon also remarked that Grant spanked her. In addition, Cannon revealed that Grant had a serious drug habit — and he forced her to partake as well. 

Did LSD ‘save’ Cary Grant? 

Grant’s relationship woes may have stemmed from his own troubled childhood. He ran away from home at such a young age after being erroneously led to believe that his mother was dead.

It wasn’t until he was an adult that he found out his mother had actually been institutionalized. In the 1950s, Grant was at the height of his fame, but he was struggling to find himself. He turned to yoga and hypnosis, but neither was sufficient, according to The Guardian

That’s when Grant found LSD therapy. “I finally got where I wanted to go,” Grant said of his LSD sessions.

Grant had more than 100 sessions with the drug over the span of a few years, and he wanted everyone to know how much it had positively changed his life. As The Daily Beast puts it, “He continued to expound on the benefits of LSD to anyone who would listen, as well as anyone who was disinclined.” He earned a reputation as someone with connections to the drug, gaining him a whole new set of fans. 

Grant maintained a staunch anti-drug stance even in the face of this use, which he saw as chemical and medicinal rather than recreational. Grant’s stance on LSD actually mirrors modern-day studies into the impacts of “microdosing” the substance. As Scientific American reports, there are still studies about its potential positive impacts going on today, but that has not removed the stigma from the psychedelic drug.