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Chet Hanks recalls parents sending him to wilderness program

Chet Hanks recalled waking up in high school to find two burly men at the foot of his bed to take him away to a wilderness program for “troubled teens” in 2008.

In a new interview, the once-problematic son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson looked back on when his addiction issues started to take hold, saying his parents’ earliest solution was to send him to the middle of nowhere in Utah for a rude awakening.

“Bald heads, like military guys looking like bouncers, you know? And I’m like, ‘What the f–k? What the f–k is going on?’ They’re like, ‘You’re coming with us,’” Chet said on the “Ivan Paychecks” podcast last Thursday.

“‘We could do this the easy way or the hard way.’”

Chet, now 32, said he was driven nine hours in the back of a car to southern Utah, where he lived “without a roof over” his head and did manual labor.

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Chet Hanks posing together at an event.
“I was there longer than anybody else,” he said.

“They just hiked us in circles with an 80-pound pack,” the “White Boy Summer” rapper remembered. “There’s a lot going through your mind. You’re under observation. … They’re psychoanalyzing you and picking you apart.”

Chet said he felt Tom and Wilson, both 66, were being “manipulated the whole time” because the camp was earning money by the day and used his wealthy parents as “whales” who had the “resources to keep” him there for a “long f–king time.”

Chet Hanks and Tom Hanks on a red carpet.
The “White Boy Summer” rapper marked one year of sobriety in September.
Corbis via Getty Images

“I was there longer than anybody else that I had seen come or go in the whole program, except for one kid who was there for six months,” he said.

The “Empire” actor said the horrifying experience made him find God and peace in solitude.

“When you have absolutely nothing to occupy your mind … but dead silence, a week feels like a month,” he explained.

Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Hanks, Chet Hanks and Truman Hanks on a red carpet.
Tom is also the father of Colin, Elizabeth and Truman.
Getty Images

Now a fitness influencer, Chet marked one year of sobriety on Sept. 13 by sharing a screenshot of his 12-steps progress.

“All In. The decision was final. Never going back to that s–t. Ever. This is just the beginning,” he wrote.

Read More: Chet Hanks recalls parents sending him to wilderness program

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