Michael Douglas' tragic half-brother ERIC has left the addicts who joined up for counselling alongside him devastated after dying in Manhattan, New York.

The 46-year-old actor-turned-stand-up comedian's body was found on Tuesday morning (06JUL04) amid reports of a drug overdose.

But his pal MICHAEL SANDS, who attended a 12-step programme with Douglas last year (03), can't believe his friend succumbed to drugs.

Sands says, "He was very focused and clear about his goals to stay sober and very happy to be back in Los Angeles and great that he could see his father and mother as they get on in years. He said he wanted to take care of them."

Meanwhile, Douglas family sources claim a doctor was on standby when movie veteran Kirk Douglas was told of his son's death - fearing he might suffer another heart attack.

Kirk and Michael Douglas will fly to New York for Eric's memorial service, which is currently being planned.

08/07/2004 02:22