Tom Hanks may be “America’s Dad,” but the 67-year-old has had his share of troubles with his middle son, Chet. The 33-year-old has battled addiction and courted controversy, even claiming to have had a “toxic” upbringing with his dad and mom, Rita Wilson, 67. (The pair are also parents to Truman, 29; Tom is also dad to Colin, 47, and 42-year-old Elizabeth with his late ex-wife Samantha Lewes.) ​

The Forrest Gump star has said he’s tried his best as a father, telling The New York Times, “Somewhere along the line, I figured out, the only thing really, I think, eventually a parent can do is say, ‘I love you, there’s nothing you can do wrong, you cannot hurt my feelings, I hope you will forgive me on occasion, and what do you need me to do?”

– It’s a hard-won peace.

In a startling new interview, Chet opened up about coming to terms with his addiction, a traumatic teen experience — and his famous father. “He was there for me,” Chet told Bradley Martyn’s “Raw Talk” podcast. “But the thing is, that he understands what it’s like to be in his position. He doesn’t understand what it’s like to be in my position … and you can’t expect anybody else to understand it because they’re in their position.”

Chet Hank’s Teen Trauma

Growing up in a bubble of wealth and privilege was a mixed blessing for Chet. “I had an ideal childhood,” acknowledged Chet, who made his acting debut in 2007’s Bratz and later landed roles on Shameless and Empire while also releasing rap music under the name Chet Haze. But self-doubt began to creep in as he felt resentment toward him because of his parents’ fame.

That’s when the trouble started. “I decided I’m gonna go way out of my way to experience things that are outside of this bubble,” he explained. “And I broke out of the bubble. And that caused a lot of concern from my family, and I got in a lot of trouble. Caught smoking pot and underage drinking, he was sent to a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens, then a therapeutic school in Utah. “I had been a really good innocent kid my whole life and then one day I just make that leap and it was like, ‘Where has my child gone?’” he explained. Unbeknownst to Tom and Rita, the school used questionable tactics to control its students (it closed in 2017).

After being furious at his parents for sending him, he’s learned to forgive. “I don’t blame them,” he said, adding, “They were misled as well, and they were manipulated by these [troubled teen] industries … that are just now starting to be exposed almost 20 years later.” An insider exclusively tells Closer Tom was heartbroken to learn of the abusive conditions. “He thought he was helping his son, but it looked like he put him in a worse situation. It’s a horrible thing.”

Chet Hanks Overcame Addiction

The experience did nothing to stop Chet’s spiral. “It didn’t make me want to be a good boy,” he admitted, saying cocaine was his “drug of choice.” After entering rehab in 2015, he welcomed daughter Michaiah in 2016 (her mom is ex Tiffany Miles) and credits her for his current sobriety. “I have a daughter and I’m not going to abandon my daughter,” he vowed, adding that his renewed relationship with Jesus has also helped him on his journey.

Becoming a parent himself was a factor in Chet’s understanding of what he put his family through. “It was hard for the whole family, including Chet’s brothers and sister,” says the insider. “Chet’s siblings were deeply affected by his addiction. Certainly, it caused resentment at times.” Now, he said, his past troubles are “water under the bridge,” and he’s able to appreciate his father. “Tom loves his son, and he loved him even when Chet was causing him and Rita grief with his self-destructive behavior,” says the insider. “Tom never stopped trying to help Chet. He’s very proud of him for taking control of his life and getting sober and, more importantly, staying sober.”

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