Richard Branson admits: 'I smoked drugs with my son'
Last updated at 14:26pm on 30th July 2007
Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson has revealed that he has taken drugs with his son.
The extrovert billionaire says he smoked cannabis with model son Sam, now 21, during a surfing holiday in Australia.
Sir Richard, 57, "I went with my son on his gap year. We had some nights where we laughed our heads off for eight hours."
"I don't think smoking the occasional spliff is all that wrong. I'd rather my son did it in front of me than behind closed doors."
In the interview with Piers Morgan for GQ magazine, the entrepreneur also admitted trying cocaine and ecstasy.
He said: "I took ecstasy once. But it didn't have a massive effect on me". Of cocaine, he said: "I suspect I've tried it, yes."
The businessman, reportedly worth £5 billion, claims Rolling Stone Keith Richards was the "first person to teach me to roll a joint".
He said he had not tried super-strong "skunk" cannabis but insisted cannabis was okay "in moderation."
But he added: "I think that skunk is far too strong and dangerous and it should be banned."
But anti-drug campaigners have blasted Branson's drug-taking as "highly irresponsible".
Peter Stoker, director of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said: "Richard Branson as a parent should know better than to take health-endangering drugs with his child.
In the interview, Sir Richard also described how he became a member of the mile-high club with a married woman.
He told Morgan: "I was sitting in economy on a Freddie Laker flight, next to this very attractive lady, as we headed to LA.
"We got chatting and it went a bit further. And it was every man's dream, to be honest. I was about 19, I think.
"I remember getting off the plane and she turned to me and said, 'Look, it's slightly embarrassing but I am meeting my husband at arrivals, would you mind holding back a bit...'.
"The problem with plane loos generally is that they are very small, and the acrobatics can't take too long because there's no room and people start banging on the door.
"What I remember vividly is seeing four handprints on the mirror as we finished, and thinking I'd better wipe them off."
Asked if he thought the woman knew he was now a famous multi-millionaire airline boss, Sir Richard, 57, said: "I am absolutely certain she doesn't. It was quite nice being anonymous, now I think about it."
Sir Richard's daughter Holly has been previously linked to Prince William - but the tycoon said the pair were "just good friends".
Asked what he would think if love blossomed between the pair and they wanted to marry, he said: "I think that would be a dreadful idea. Nothing against William, but the life the royals lead, and the responsibilities that go with it are very difficult."