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Grappling with his son’s suicide, Michael Madsen still hopes to find answers

“I love you dad,” is the last text that Reservoir Dogs star Michael Madsen received from his son before he killed himself.

The son of a Hollywood legend, Hudson Madsen, 26, was a U.S. Army Sergeant, stationed in Hawaii, who had just finished his first tour when he shot himself in the head, his father said.

“I am in shock as my son, whom I just spoke with a few days ago, said he was happy–my last text from him was ‘I love you dad,’” Madsen, the star of the Kill Bill franchise, told the LA Times.

“I didn’t see any signs of depression. It’s so tragic and sad. I’m just trying to make sense of everything and understand what happened,” he continued.

Hudson–whose Godfather was Quentin Tarantino–was Madsen’s eldest son with wife DeAnna Madsen, followed by brothers Kalvin and Luke. Madsen has two more sons, Christian and Max, with his ex-wife, Jeannine Bisignano.

According to social media posts from his wife, Carlie, whom he married in 2019, the pair were happy and going strong. Carlie’s social media suggests the two were unable to have children naturally so were planning on IVF.

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Only one week before his death on January 22, 2022, Carlie posted on Instagram, a photo of her in a hospital gown, revealing she just a tumor removed. In the caption, she writes: “I just want to give a shout-out to my amazing husband! Yesterday I had surgery to remove a tumor from one of my breasts and he was and has been so patient throughout this whole process.” Snapped at the Tripler Army Medical Center, a Department of Defense facility in Hawaii, Carlie continued, “We were at the hospital for about 7 hours yesterday and while I was in surgery he went to target and got me flowers, comfy pajamas, my favorite candy and a card! He’s also been amazing in helping with my recovery and I’m just so thankful…”

About two weeks later, she posted a sweet photo of her and Hudson, only saying, “I miss you so much.”

The events that ended in Hudson’s suicide puzzled everyone.

Rattled over his suicide, the then 64-year-old father said, “He had typical life challenges that people have with finances, but he wanted a family,” Madsen said. “He was looking towards his future, so its [sic] mind blowing. I just can’t grasp what happened.”

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Madsen, the star of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also revealed that beneath the façade of happiness, his son, who had been to Afghanistan, was struggling with mental health. The actor explained his son, who needed therapy, stopped getting help for issues he was keeping private. Because of the suspicion “that officers and rank and file were shaming,” Madsen requested an investigation by the military, reports that are still not available to the public.

One month after Hudson took his life, Madsen, famed for his collaborations with Tarantino’s violent comedies, was arrested in Malibu, at the luxury home he was recently evicted. Charged with a trespassing, Madsen was released on bail.

The actor has a history with the law, in 2019, he was charged with a DUI after crashing his SUV, and in 2012, according to TMZ, he was charged with child endangerment.

Actors DeAnna Madsen and Michael Madsen attend the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ 25th Anniversary Screening during 2017 Tribeca Film Festival / Shutterstock

The actor walked into his home, and finding his teenaged son smoking pot, the two got into an argument. TMZ writes, “…Madsen had gotten into a physical fight with his juvenile son–and when cops arrived, they observed several signs of injury on his son. We’re told Madsen also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of his arrest.” The son’s name was not released, and Madsen was.

After the death of Hudson, the family released a statement saying, “We are heartbroken and overwhelmed with grief and pain at the loss of Hudson. His memory and light will be remembered by all who knew and loved him.”

On January 23, 2023, offering a heartfelt tribute to her husband, whom she lovingly calls “Lump,” Carlie writes on her Instagram, “…I don’t even know how it’s been a year without you. It still hurts just as much as it did that day. You’re the first thing I think about everyday when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep at night. I can’t even describe how much I’m hurting and how much I miss you.” She continued, “I just wish you would have talked to me and told me what was going on that day. I’m so sorry you thought this was the only way to make things better. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do more and I didn’t see the signs. I’m sorry I let you down. Just know you’re always with me and always on my mind. I miss you so much and I love you more Lump.”

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Hudson Madsen’s death is such a heartbreaking end to a hero, son, best friend and husband. If there’s someone you know who needs to be reminded that you love them, now’s the time.

There’s always help available and remember, if you’d rather make an anonymous call, use the Suicide Hotline and dial 9-8-8, a number that is available across the U.S. and Canada.

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