“The past decade has been a tough road for the entire Newton family and, at times, there’s been an awful strain between Matthew and his parents,” says the source.
“But the recent years have marked such a change and a very different Matthew has come through it.”
In the late noughties, Matthew made headlines for assaulting ex-girlfriends Brooke Satchwell and Rachael Taylor, as well as breaching the terms of an AVO, assaulting a Sydney taxi driver and, after moving to the US, attacking a hotel receptionist in Miami.
He avoided conviction on grounds of diminished mental health and later revealed he was struggling with issues including addiction.
“It was horrible for Bert and Patti to watch as Matthew’s life seemed to melt down, with the shocking reports of violence against women and other troubles with the law. They were the very darkest of days,” explains the insider.
Matthew, 43, relocated to the US in 2012 and has since reportedly married Catherine Schneiderman, 27, whose father is a former New York attorney. But the Aussie actor turned movie writer and director’s relationship with the much younger socialite has apparently done wonders for Matthew’s stability.
“He has a new life, is settled in New York and has the support of a great wife, Catherine. She is a strong figure and has had an incredible impact in helping him stay on the right track. He is anonymous and has been able to fly under the radar without his every step being watched.”
Patti, 75, recognises that Matthew’s partner has played a big role in ensuring her son’s continued happiness.
“Patti says she’s thrilled Catherine has been able to find a way to give Matthew the stability he desperately needed to deal with the worst of his demons, including getting the appropriate treatment.
“She also insists that her son today is a world away from the Matthew who was making headlines for all the wrong reasons only a few years ago.”
But while Matthew’s parents are grateful and happy that their son has got his life back on track and is proud of how far he’s come, Patti and Bert “miss him terribly”.
“Patti insists she is just happy he’s safe and well where he is and in far better shape these days. She is the first to acknowledge that being away from Australia has played a big part in that.”
But it’s clear that her son is never far from Patti’s thoughts. In another recent Instagram post, where a follower pointed out how her grandson Sam looked like Bert, Patti was quick to suggest daughter’s Lauren’s eldest son looked like another member of the family.
“I think he looks like my Matthew,” Patti said, proudly.
Growing up as the son of Aussie showbiz royalty meant the 43-year-old was always in the spotlight. But while he’s only managed to find peace away from his home country, his once-estranged parents Patti and Bert couldn’t be happier.
“The relationship between Matthew and his parents has definitely improved since Catherine came into his life,” the insider says.
“Next month Bert turns 82, and he is just relieved to be at this stage of his life with a far healthier and stronger relationship with his son.
“Patti says life these days is so much easier for all of them.”
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