The actor, now 68, told the Daily Mirror:
“I know I’m going to get into trouble here. I have nothing against her and in fact I’m very fond of my first wife. But we should have ended that marriage eight or 10 years earlier.”
Douglas married Diandra Luker, 13 years his junior, in 1977. They had one son, Cameron, who is currently in prison for drug offences.
The couple separated in 1995 and Diandra filed for divorce the same year, but the pair did not officially divorce until 2000. She received a reported $45 million divorce settlement.
“It took me too long to realise that if you go to a marriage counsellor to resolve problems, it’s in his interest to keep the marriage going. Because if I end the marriage he’s got no business. I think Diandra would probably say the same thing. That’s the only clear regret that I have.”
Douglas met his second wife, Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, in 1998. They were married in November 2000, just weeks after the completion of his divorce from Diandra.
Reports suggest the couple signed a prenuptial agreement.
The actor, the son of Spartacus star Kirk Douglas, first shot to fame in 1970s police drama The Streets of San Francisco. He has gone on to enjoy a varied Hollywood career, most recently starring as pianist Liberace in Behind The Candelabra.
Photo of Michael Douglas with second wife Catherine Zeta-Jones by David Shankbone via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence