On Saturday, February 24th, Michael Nader (Dimitri Marick, All My Children) was arrested by New York City Police for allegedly selling a $20 bag of cocaine to an undercover cop at the unlicensed "Barber Shop" nightclub in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
In total, 24 people, including, Nader were arrested during the bust. Police say that the social club had been under surveillance for some time and that the raid came as the climax to an "ongoing narcotics operation." Most of those arrested will face charges for criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor offense. Nader and four others will face more serious felony charges for criminal sale of a controlled substance.
According to a police officer on the scene, Nader was "very distraught [because] his mother had just passed away."
Following his arrest, Nader was admitted to Bellevue Hospital for treatment of an undisclosed illness. Some media outlets have reported that Nader had been injured during his arrest, but those reports are apparently unfounded.
Almost immediately after the news of Nader's arrest was first posted on soapcentral.com, All My Children fans began to speculate about the actors' future with the show. Rumors followed that the role would be recast -- at least temporarily until Nader is able to return to work. One such rumor has One Life to Live veteran Clint Richie assuming the role. The timing of Nader's arrest is unfortunate for the show as Nader's character is involved in a front burner storyline.
Officially, ABC isn't saying what it has decided to do. "The situation is being reviewed by senior management and by the legal department," says an AMC spokesperson. "To the extent that Michael needs help, we hope he gets the help he needs. ABC has made resources available to him."
Other postings questioned whether Nader was also using cocaine. Nader has, in the past, admitted to having experimented with marijuana and psychedelic drugs as a teenager. The actor claimed the drug use was part of a "spiritual quest."
"My friends and I, we all burned the candle of life strongly and early," Nader said in a 1984 interview with TV Guide, admitting that drugs and alcohol plagued him until he quit in 1980. Nader said that his sobriety prompted him to speak to others about the toll drugs took on him and his friends.
According to a Soap Opera Digest report, some AMC insiders suspected Nader of abusing cocaine. "Cocaine was affecting his work," an insider is quoted as saying. "But cast members thought that they had successfully intervened."
This is not Nader's first brush with the law. On August 23, 1997, the actor was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and child endangerment after he was pulled over by police for speeding on New York's Long Island Expressway with his 13-year-old daughter in the car. He was sentenced to community service for that incident.
Nader was born February 19, 1945 in St. Louis. He started his acting career in the 60s in a series of successful teen beach movies. Those roles helped him land a role in the TV show Gidget, starring Sally Field. Aside from his role on All My Children, Nader is probably best known for his work opposite Joan Collins as "Dex" Dexter on Dynasty. Nader joined All My Children in 1991.
Nader has one child with his first wife, Robin. The pair was divorced in 1990. In 1992, Nader married Beth Windsor, but have sinced divorced. Nader currently lives alone.
Nader was released last week on $500 bail and is scheduled to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court on March 26 where, in addition to the drug charges he also faces charges for resisting arrest. If found guilty, Nader could face a maximum of 25 years in jail.
Nader will check into a rehab center for 30 days before returning to All My Children, where ABC brass has still not decided how to handle the Nader situation. Disney, which owns ABC, is said to incorporate a strong morals clause in all of its personnel's contracts. This incident could very well violate that clause regardless of the verdict from the courtroom.
Beginning April 6, Anthony Addabbo (ex-Jim Lemay, Guiding Light) will assume the role of Dimitri -- at least temporarily. After Nader exits rehab, his future with the show will be further evaluated.