Todd Bridges has been known as ‘Willis Jackson,’ the character he played in the hit sitcom ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ his whole life.

And that’s fine with him.

Because after overcoming drug addiction, he’s just happy to share his story with everyone.

“I wanted people just to know the truth,” Bridges told theGrio about his upcoming book “Killing Willis”. “I wanted [others] to stop telling my story and me to start telling mine.”

Bridges’ story is filled with what has become routine for so many child stars: success on screen and struggle off it.

The now 44-year-old Bridges became addicted to cocaine and was even arrested on attempted murder charges before being acquitted.

Gary Coleman, Bridges’ co-star in ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ has gone through his own struggles, most of which have been on live television.

Bridges can relate.

“I have sympathy for anybody going through a struggle and he’s going through a big-time struggle right now,” Bridges said. “I’m hoping that he can change his life and [that] he can get better.”

Bridges has become a fixture on several reality shows and lately, has appeared on Tru-Tv’s “World’s Dumbest Criminals” as a commentator.

He said he has been off drugs for 17 years.

Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter at @rantoddj