Inside Tom Hardy’s wild life – drug addiction, arrest and stunning famous wife

To celebrate Tom Hardy turning 44 today (September 15), Daily Star is taking a look back on his personal life – from his drugs battle to his marriage and family.

In his personal life, the British actor has also battled adversity, hardship and had a dark and twisted past.

He's been sober now since 2003 but once admitted he would have "sold his mum for crack" as he battled a gruelling drug and alcohol addiction before he booked himself in for rehab.

Hardy was also arrested as a teen and went through some heartbreaking break-ups.

Known for playing villains and darker characters, the actor has taken roles as Batman, the Kray twins and murderer Charles Bronson.

Tom has found Hollywood success in a number of blockbuster films, including Inception, Legend, The Dark Knight Rises, MadMax and Dunkirk.

In a surprise twist for the typecast baddie, Tom has also read the CBeebies bedtime story for babies and toddlers on the BBC.

He is often cast as bad boys on the big screen, perhaps as he uses his real life experiences as a tough rough n ready teen to bring grit to his roles.

So, what is in Tom Hardy’s troubled past?

Teenage joyrider and arrest

The British actor once described himself as a "naughty boy" between the ages of 12 and 19.

Growing up in East Sheen in South West London, Tom said his "privileged and peaceful" upbringing pushed him to want to "f**k everything up".

He said: “I always had a sense of shame about being privileged. It’s taken me a long time to realise it’s OK to be from Sheen, it’s OK to be a public schoolboy. It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.

“I grew up around people carriers and cardigans and the deer in Richmond Park, but behind those Laura Ashley curtains there are a lot of demons.

“East Sheen is a middle-class area but there’s trouble if you want it.”

In 2017, he revealed to the Daily Mirror that he was arrested for joyriding when he was 15.

He took a stolen Mercedes out for a spin, explaining: “I got arrested at 15 for joyriding in a stolen Mercedes. And for good measure there was a gun in the car.”

Tom was also tossed in juvenile jail many times for disorderly conduct.

Hardy was put in boarding school but author and fellow pupil James Haydock said he was kicked out when he got caught stealing sports uniforms.

After boarding school he was expelled from Richmond College for the Performing Arts, then studied method acting at the Drama Centre in central London.

Sharing his self-sabotage days, he said: "I just had to endanger myself – it was a kind of self-harming."

Tom’s drug addiction

Tom Hardy’s addiction to crack cocaine was perhaps his biggest downfall as it very nearly killed him.

He once admitted that his addiction got so bad that at one point he said he "would have sold [his] mother for a rock of crack".

He explained: “I was a very adrenal kid. I ran on my feelings — and there was a lot of fear.

“When I found drinking at 13 — a bit of beer — I felt calm. I thought this must be how everyone else feels, and I wanted more of it.

“But then I became a drunk, a f***ing drunk, man!”

Luckily he has now been sober since 2003.

In 2014 he told the Daily Mirror that his first encounter with drugs was age 11.

Aged 11, the police visited his school and warned them about the dangers of sniffing glue.

However, Tom thought: “I know where to find that now – bang.”

By 13 he had gone off the rails and was dodging the police after finding hallucinogens, which were “fun and games”.

He explained: “I went entirely off the rails and I’m lucky I didn’t have some terrible accident or end up in prison or dead, because that’s where I was going.”

Tom got expelled from Reed’s in Surrey, his £32,910 a year boarding school, for stealing, and this triggered his dive into an alcohol and crack cocaine addiction which would dominate his life until his mid-20s.

Talking with Essentials magazine, he revealed how he considered himself lucky to have survived this time in his life.

He said: "I was a shameful suburban statistic. I was told very clearly, 'You go down that road, Tom, you won't come back.'”

"That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days. I am … lucky to be here."

Rehab days and revelations

Was it luck or was it rehab that helped Tom over this difficult time?

Turning up for help whilst extremely drunk is perhaps not ideal but it did lead to Tom’s 18-year sobriety.

His decision to check himself into rehab meant he has been sober since 2003.

Despite being intensely emotionally draining, speaking to the Mirror in 2017, Tom said he could still "destroy everything" if he has too much to drink.

He explained: "If I had four pints of lager and half a bottle of vodka I could turn this room into an absolute f***ing nightmare in about three minutes.

"I could destroy everything in my life I have worked so hard for."

Luckily rehab allowed him to "manage" his demons.

The actor said: "I went in [to rehab] thinking I'd do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me.

"But I did my 28 days and, after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances, I realised I did have a problem. Now I know my beast and I know how to manage it.

“It’s like living with a 400lb orangutan that wants to kill me. It’s much more powerful than me, doesn’t speak the same language and it runs around the darkness of my soul.”


Tom Hardy starred as Charles Bronson in the 2008 film Bronson, and they met a number of times.

The notorious prisoner was reportedly impressed with how muscular Tom had been able to get, and how he could mimic his own voice and persona.

Bronson even went on to say Hardy was the only person who could have played him.

Initially, Bronson had not been allowed to see the film, but he was finally given the chance in 2011.

He described it as "theatrical, creative and brilliant".

Sexuality and being bisexual

Tom has been open about his fluid sexuality in the past, revealing he experimented with gay sex when he was younger.

Speaking to Now Magazine in 2011, the actor shared: "I’m done experimenting but there’s plenty of stuff in a relationship with another man, especially gay men, that I need in my life.

“A lot of gay men get my thing for shoes. I have definite feminine qualities and a lot of gay men are incredibly masculine.

"A lot of people say I seem masculine, but I don’t feel it. I feel intrinsically feminine. I’d love to be one of the boys but I always felt a bit on the outside. Maybe my masculine qualities come from overcompensating because I’m not one of the boys."

On experimenting with men, he boldly revealed: "Of course I have. I’m an actor for f***'s sake.

"I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me."

He has never gone public with his relationships with men.


Tom chose to end his studies prematurely when he was cast in the 2001 TV miniseries Band Of Brothers.

He subsequently scored roles in Hollywood films Black Hawk Down and Star Trek: Nemesis.

However the Star Trek film didn't do as well as expected and triggered Tom to have a relapse and a go on a crack binge in 2003.

Waking up in a pool of blood and vomit post binge pushed him to check into rehab.

"I did something particularly heinous that allowed me to wake up," he said.

"I had to lose something. Sometimes you have to lose something that is worth more to you than your drinking."

Then, the following year, his drinking and drug-taking contributed to the end of his five-year marriage to Sarah Ward.

His marriage to first wife to Sarah Ward lasted from 1999 to 2004.

He then dated actress Linda Park from 2003 to 2004.

At the time when they first met, Hardy had been divorced once and had just gotten out of a breakup with his first son Louis' mother, Racheal Speed

Rachel gave birth to Tom’s son Louis in 2008.

In a 2017 interview, Tom said his child made him sober up, he said: "I was self-indulgent for a long time, and I was only thinking about myself and my own stupid stuff.

"Having a child lifts you out of selfish behaviour and gives you responsibility. It forces you to be a better man and to live a healthy life."

Before Hardy met his now-wife actress Charlotte Riley who he met when they were cast as Cathy and Heathcliff in the 2009 TV version of the classic love story, Wuthering Heights.

They married in July 2014, and had a child in October 2015, believed to be a girl.

The couple had a second child in 2018, a boy.

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