Heather Locklear’s Daughter Ava Sambora Heartbroken Over Mom’s ‘Downward Spiral’

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As Heather Locklear works through mental health and substance abuse issues, her daughter Ava Sambora tries to deal with her own emotional struggle. The two have always been very close, and sources tell Us Weekly that Ava is “really leaning on her boyfriend and a small close circle of friends she’s had for years.” The magazine reports that Ava is also close to her father, Richie Sambora, and that he has been a source of great support for her as well. Mental health or substance abuse problems in a family are difficult and exhausting for everyone. Dealing with both is even more so. Having a support system to help you through is important, so it’s good to know that 20-year-old Ava seems to have that. She, like everyone, “just wants the old Heather back.”

Heather Locklear’s decline has been very public and very painful to watch. Once a beautiful actress and model in high demand by fans and Hollywood, her life took a dark turn about 10 years ago, and she has never seemed to quite get back on her feet since then.

Locklear’s name has been in the news frequently of late, but initial news of her mental health issues go back to 2008 when, as Fox News reports, she checked herself into an Arizona rehab facility for help with anxiety and depression and announced that she would be taking a break from acting to focus on her health. One of her doctors reported that the actress may be suicidal that same year, but police visited her home and reported that she was not suicidal and would be cared for by her new boyfriend, Jack Wagner. Heather went back into rehab soon after for four weeks only to be arrested for erratic driving two weeks later.

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Things were quiet for Locklear until 2012 when she was again reported as being suicidal, this time by her sister. Officers got her medical attention, and she was released the next day. By 2016, she had been in rehab five times. Following her fifth stay, she said the following.

“I am feeling great and am taking steps to enrich and better my life. Currently I am working on tying up some loose ends regarding certain issues so I can hit 2017 full steam ahead.”

Then came 2018. Back in February, police received a call about Heather being violent with Wagner. When they came to her home, she attacked the officers, but they did finally arrest her. She was released on $20,000 bail. June brought more suicidal behavior and another call about domestic violence at Locklear’s home. Officers reported that she seemed intoxicated and that she had been arguing with her boyfriend. When an officer tried to separate Locklear from her boyfriend, she battered the officer, landing her in cuffs again. Police again believed she needed medical attention and called an ambulance, but Locklear assaulted members of the EMT team when they arrived. In the latest tragic chapter of her life, she was rushed to a hospital on suspicions that she had overdosed just a few days ago. There has been no word on her condition since then.