ROBERT HART’S life appeared to be in tatters when his mother emancipated him from his brother Kevin and the rest of the family.
He had struggled without the presence of a father figure growing up – dad Henry was in and out of prison and had a cocaine addiction – and fell into gangs and dealing drugs.
And the time he tried to rob a purse from an old lady was the final straw for mum Nancy who went to court to get him legally exiled.
Robert, 51, and Kevin, 43, had a difficult relationship growing up, largely thanks to the older sibling’s involvement in crime on the streets of Philadelphia.
And as Kevin went down the comedy and acting routes, his older brother struggled to find purpose on the right side of the law.
Now, though, he has turned his life around to make a name for himself as one of the world’s top pool players, has a grown-up daughter, gone sober and rekindled his relationship with his A-lister brother.
When he is not at the table practising for the World Nineball Tour, he is often hanging out with Kevin and enjoying life as uncle to Kevin’s four children.
The stand-up comic and Dwayne Johnson’s pal said: “My mum gave my brother a fair amount of freedom. Any mistakes you could make as a teenager, he made.
“And then there was two. It was just me and my mum. The way that my mum saw it, she was too lenient on my brother. She figured if she could keep me off the streets, I wouldn’t turn out like him.
“We were not as close when we were younger.
“However, as time went by, I became closer to my older brother. So he’s now my sole brother and best buddy.”
But as he heads to England for the World Pool Masters in Brentwood and then the UK Open at London’s Copper Box Arena this month, Hart Sr will be hoping to show Kevin is not the only superstar brother.
He has ambitions of becoming the world No1 pool player and will hope the British double-header can help propel him up the rankings.
The chiefs at Matchroom Pool – headed up by Barry and Eddie Hearn – are hoping to raise the profile of the sport following their tremendous success transforming darts and snooker in recent years.
And redeemed Robert is at the heart of their grand plans.