Date: 10th April 2001
KEANU REEVES' estranged father SAMUEL NOWLIN REEVES was given a terrifying reminder of how much he loves his son - when he heard the actor was dead.
Samuel and Keanu became estranged when the MATRIX, the (1999) star was just 13 years old, and any hope Samuel had of rebuilding a relationship with his son were dashed when he was sent to prison for 10 years in 1994 on drugs charges.
Samuel was released four years early, on good behaviour, and admits he's desperate to hear from his superstar son. Last week (05APR01) he was given a horrific reminder of how important it was for him to restore contact soon - when he heard news his estranged son was dead. The news wasn't true - it was Keanu's girlfriend JENNIFER SYME who had been killed in a horrific pile up on a Los Angeles freeway.
Although deeply saddened by the news, discovering his son was still alive was an enormous relief for Samuel - and that news has spurred him on to contact the son he hasn't seen for 20 years.
Speaking from his home in Hawaii, he admits, "It was terrible, the news just knocked me over. I had no idea I was so attached to the boy, I haven't seen or heard from him in so long. "But I came home to find my mother on the phone to my aunty. My aunty had called to let my mother know the dreadful news, and I got the wrong end of the stick, and thought Keanu had died. My heart stopped." (SVD/WN/NFA)