Heather Locklear's Double Life

Actress Heather Locklear is best known for her long-running stints in two popular prime-time soap operas. Her role as Sammy Jo Carrington in Dynasty from 1981 until 1989, turned her into an American celeb sweetheart, but as the '90s rolled around, she began to transform into more of a sex symbol. She made her debut as shady advertising executive Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place in 1993, and remained part of the show until it wrapped in 1999. 

Unfortunately for Locklear, with the exception of a Golden Globe nomination for her work on the ABC sitcom Spin City in 2002, the next decade was not as kind to the actress. She managed to keep up appearances by guest starring in shows such as Ally McBeal, Scrubs and Two and a Half Men, but away from the cameras, Locklear was living a very different life — one that was a far cry from the glittering, A-list status she'd previously enjoyed. 

In public, she's managed to downplay her personal problems and insist everything is fine at home, but unfortunately, that's simply not the case. Let's take a look inside the troubling double life of Heather Locklear.

The rock star husbands

Despite the fact that they were pretty much polar opposites in terms of public image, Locklear married Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in 1986, and their unlikely union came as a shock to many. "Lee, like his Mötley Crüe bandmates, was rightly perceived as a reckless hedonist," Jeff Giles wrote for Ultimate Classic Rock. "Locklear, meanwhile, had a virginal reputation."

The heavy metal band was even accused of devil worship during the "Satanic panic" of the mid-'80s, though Locklear brushed that off with a typically sweet rebuttal: "Tommy doesn't worship the devil," she said with a giggle (via People). "He worships me." 

The worship didn't last, and the two divorced in 1994. But Locklear wasn't done with her rock stars just yet. Before the year was out, she was married again, this time to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (pictured). Eleven years later, the actress abruptly filed for divorce. According to People, she discovered some "provocative pictures" in an email sent to her husband by her BFF, actress Denise Richards. Locklear never confirmed the rumors, apparently choosing to avoid the attention and keep her rep in tact.

As for Sambora, he claimed that he never asked for nor wanted any saucy photos, but after he and Locklear split, he went on to date Richards on and off for several years.

Was she hiding suicidal thoughts?

In March of 2008, a 911 operator answered a call from Locklear's concerned doctor. According to The Huffington Post, the doctor said he prescribed antidepressants to the former Dynasty star but had become concerned that she might take an overdose on them after speaking with her. "I have a patient and I have a feeling she's suicidal, and I want someone to go there," the doctor can be heard saying in the emergency call — the second one he'd made in the space of 15 minutes. "I want to know if someone has gone there and that she's OK."

Officers obliged and went to Locklear's home with paramedics and firefighters in tow, but when they arrived, the actress claimed the whole thing was a misunderstanding. "She was talking to a friend. She was bummed about something, and the person overreacted," a source told People"Heather's doing great ... She seems really happy." 

That account didn't jive with the assessment of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who was reportedly convinced that the 911 call was genuine. "We don't believe the caller was lying or fabricating the information provided at the time," department spokesman Ross Bonfiglio told People.

She quietly checked into a mental health facility

Despite claims from Locklear's nearest and dearest that she was genuinely happy following her 911 false alarm, the actress was clearly going through something. A few months after that call, in June 2008, she quietly checked herself into a rehab facility in Arizona to reportedly help her overcome anxiety and depression. 

"She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment," Locklear's rep said in press release (via Newsweek). "This is a confidential medical matter and no further statement will be released."

Locklear reportedly spent four weeks undergoing treatment — which included spa sessions and horse riding, and it apparently did the actress a world of good. "Heather's feeling really great, and she looks beautiful, just radiant," a friend told USA Today. "She told a really funny story and she laughed from her core, that's when I knew she was going to be fine. I think that's the best part of all — it's so nice to hear her laugh." 

Those close to her made it seem as though it was back to business as usual for the actress, and the story simply went away. But in the months that followed, the cracks in Locklear's radiant armor began to show again.

She was arrested for DUI, but got the charges dropped

Heather Locklear was involved in what would become the first of many sketchy incidents behind the wheel in 2008. According to People, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after a member of the public called 911 after witnessing her "driving erratically." 

In the end, Locklear pleaded no contest to reckless driving and in exchange, the DUI vanished. The official line was that Locklear hadn't been drinking that day, but had actually been unknowingly impaired by the meds she was taking.

"She had prescription medication in her system that could have impaired her ability to safely drive a motor vehicle," Santa Barbara Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter told the New York Daily News (via TV Guide). The plea deal that Locklear's attorney thrashed out with prosecutors required her to take part in three years of informal probation as well as a 12-hour DMV road and safety class. She was also slapped with a $700 fine, but had largely emerged from the situation with her reputation only slightly tainted as opposed to in tatters.

She got away with a hit and run

Locklear was involved in a hit and run incident near her gated community home in April 2010. Luckily for the actress, her only victim was a lone "no parking" sign. According to Radar Online, a local resident reported the incident to police after witnessing the six-time Golden Globe nominee jump the curb near Westlake Village around 4 a.m. Locklear allegedly plowed through the sign and then fled the scene, failing to report the incident to the authorities.

"Physical evidence established that the vehicle involved in the collision was a 2005 black BMW sedan registered to Richard and Heather Sambora of Westlake Village," Ventura District Attorney Gregory D. Totten said in a statement (via People). However, Locklear escaped with just a citation because the authorities couldn't be 100 percent certain she was driving the vehicle at the time. Another day, another bullet dodged.

Was her overdose really an accident?

Paramedics were once again called to Locklear's home in January of 2012, and things were a lot more serious this time.

According to TMZ , her sister made a panicked 911 call after discovering that Locklear had ingested a dangerous mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol. A spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told People (via NBC News), "Emergency response personnel responded to a medical emergency call at Ms. Locklear's residence. Once they arrived, it was determined that Ms. Locklear needed to be transported to the hospital for further medical attention."

Speculation was rife that the actress had made an attempt on her own life, but the actress and her family claimed it was an accidental overdose. Los Robles Hospital spokeswoman Kris Carraway-Bowman told the New York Daily News: "Her parents want everyone to know that it was not a suicide attempt. She's not in any danger, and she's just fine. She's resting comfortably, and when she's not resting, she's talkative and alert in good condition."

She allegedly floored her ex with a right hook

Following her failed marriages to rock stars work, Locklear decided to try dating an actor instead and coupled up with Melrose Place co-star Jack Wagner, her one-time on-screen husband in the show. 

These two seemed like the perfect match when they first began stepping out in public together in 2007. By August 2011, they seemed very much in love, announcing that they were going to become man and wife in real life. 

But that never happened. Just a few months later, Locklear's rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the wedding was off. According to Star Magazine (via the Daily Mail), things got a little crazy between the ex-lovers when Wagner showed up at Locklear's house to return some of her belongings. An argument ensued and the two allegedly started fighting — literally. 

"A huge argument erupted as they insulted each other's families," a source close to the quarreling couple revealed. "As Heather went to her car, Jack lunged at her, trying to grab or push her. Her reaction was to swing. She caught Jack with a right hook across his face, knocking him to the ground."

Initially, it looked as though both Locklear and Wagner were going to get hauled in front of a court on battery charges, but no charges were pressed on either side. Their little scrap was soon forgotten, and both parties moved on.

Her car crash might have been worse than she let on

In January 2017, Locklear released a statement claiming that she was "feeling great" in response to a rumor that she'd re-entered rehab. The actress said she was ready to go "full steam ahead" in 2017. In hindsight, that probably wasn't the best phrase to use because in September of that year, she ran her Porsche off the road.

Emergency dispatch audio (via The Blast) revealed that Locklear pulled herself free of the crash before a rescue crew (or any paparazzi) arrived. Most outlets reported that Locklear had simply veered into a ditch, but a 911 call (obtained by TMZ) tells a different story. The caller can clearly be heard telling the dispatcher that the car had crashed into a creek and was "ten feet or more" from the roadside. Locklear was hospitalized, indicating that the accident was actually worse than she let on. Entertainment Tonight later reported that she had broken her collarbone. 

Interestingly, as soon as the authorities became aware of her identity, it seems they made have wrapped things up as swiftly as possible. "It's a celebrity, she's huge," a deputy tells the radio dispatcher in the recording published by TMZ. The dispatcher responds, "I'll let [the Sheriff's Office] know, and they'll probably get out there a little quicker." 

Locklear once again escaped charges. Law enforcement officials concluded neither drugs nor alcohol were to blame for the accident.

She lashed out at cops responding to a domestic violence call

In February 2018, Locklear was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence as well as battery on a sheriff's deputy after her brother reportedly showed up at her house and found her fighting with boyfriend Chris Heisser. According to TMZ, Locklear's brother reportedly called 911 when the violence started getting out of hand, but when law enforcement turned up, the actress reportedly became "irate."

"She was furious her brother got the police involved and she was in no state to be able to have a normal thinking conversation," a source told Entertainment Tonight. "She was out of control. She was screaming at the police and went on the attack. She physically fought the police and they had to handcuff her to control her." This version of events was seemingly confirmed by Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who told the Los Angeles Times that Locklear's behavior was "extremely hostile and uncooperative, and at one point became combative with the deputies." 

An insider told Entertainment Tonight that Locklear has a habit of projecting an image of normalcy, though she may be battling personal problems behind the scenes. "It's sad she lets things get this out of control before she gets help," the source said.  

In September 2017, Locklear posted lovey-dovey messages about Heisser to her Instagram, calling her high school sweetheart her "first love and final love" and her "favorite person on earth."

Alas, Heisser also found himself in handcuffs after being busted for DUI just hours after the alleged domestic violence incident, reported TMZ.

We certainly hope everyone gets the help they need and that the Heather Locklear we love finds a way to merge her private and public personas into a positive and stable identity.