He was 10 years old when it all started. In May 1999, Jake Lloyd, a young American actor from Colorado, rose to international fame by playing Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first chapter of the Star Wars prelogy. But the dream was only short-lived. Overworked, constantly targeted by the press and the public and harassed by his classmates, the young actor ended his career two years after the release of the film. “My whole school life was in hell,” he said in 2012 in the columns of the Daily Mail. The other kids were really mean to me. They made the lightsaber sound every time they saw me. It was absolutely crazy.”
And that was just the beginning of the misfortunes. In March 2015, then 26-year-old Jake Lloyd faced police for the first time after verbally and physically assaulting his mother, Lisa Riley. Questioned by the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, she renounces to file a complaint, explaining that her son suffers from schizophrenia. But a month later, on June 17, 2015, the actor was arrested in South Carolina for speeding, driving without a license and contempt of an officer. Incarcerated for 10 months at the Colleton County Detention Center awaiting trial, he was eventually transferred to a psychiatric hospital due to his schizophrenia.
An impossible mourning
But while Jake Lloyd finally takes his health in hand, fate persists. On July 16, 2018, her 26-year-old younger sister, Madison Ellen Lloyd Broadbent, died of natural causes. The event definitively breaks the young man, who disappears once and for all from the radar…
Now 33 years old, the interpreter of Anakin Skywalker has found refuge with his family. “He has moved in with his family and we are working hard to help him with his illness, revealed his mother in January 2020 in a press release, specifying that in addition to his paranoid schizophrenia, Lloyd suffered from anosognosia, a neuropsychological disorder preventing him from being aware of his own illness. He is still a kind and caring person, and we hope that he will regain his joy of living as soon as possible,” she concluded.
Jake Lloyd © DR