5 things to know about Johnny Lewis, including his relationship with Katy Perry

Johnny Lewis
Late Sons of Anarchy actor once dated Katy Perry (Image via Larry Busacca, John Sciulli/Getty Images)

Actor Johnny Lewis, who dated singer Katy Perry in 2006, was found dead on the driveway of a Los Feliz home after he fatally attacked his landlady, Catherine Davis. Authorities alleged that the 28-year-old actor fell to his death on September 26, 2012, while attempting to flee the scene.

Neighbors called the police after hearing screams and seeing Lewis attacking two men with a piece of wood outside the house, where he is thought to have rented a room. He was released from prison only five days prior to the incident and suffered from drug-related and mental health problems at the time, which led to the downfall of his acting journey.

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Before his multiple arrests, Lewis starred in hit shows, including Sons of Anarchy and The O.C. and also played multiple roles in movies. At the time of the incident, he was residing at Davis' property, a B&B called Writers' Villa for struggling artists close by to Hollywood.

ID's Death by Fame will chronicle the life and death of Johnny Lewis in an upcoming episode on Monday, January 30, 2023. The all-new episode, titled Man of Anarchy, will air on the channel at 9 pm ET. This article will further discuss a few key details about Johnny Lewis and his life prior to his tragic demise.


Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis was reportedly the inspiration behind Katy Perry's The One That Got Away

1) Johnny Lewis' father was a Scientology counselor during his growing up days

Born and brought up in Los Angeles, Lewis is the middle child of Michael Lewis, a counselor at the Valley Life Improvement Center, which utilizes Scientology in its treatment. However, whether Lewis himself was brought up in the religion remains unknown. At the age of 16, he secured guest appearances on Malcolm in the Middle and 7th Heaven, thus kicking off his acting career.


2) Lewis started his acting career with advertisements before moving to TV shows

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Johnny Lewis' mother reportedly began taking him to auditions when he was six years old. He started out with advertisements before moving on to TV sitcoms such as Drake & Josh and Malcolm in the Middle. As Lewis grew older, he was also cast in episodes of The O.C. and Criminal Minds.

Best known for his role as Kip "Half Sack" Epps from Sons of Anarchy, the actor also landed cameos in episodes of Judging Amy, Yes, Dear, and Smallville along with regular roles on American Dreams and Boston Public. His movie credits include the 2010 Kristen Stewart-starrer The Runaways. He also co-starred with Hilary Duff in the 2004 film Raise Your Voice.


3) The late actor enjoyed a brief relationship with famed singer Katy Perry

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During his glory days, Johnny Lewis dated American pop sensation Katy Perry from 2005 to 2006. Sources stated that he was the inspiration behind her all-time hit The One That Got Away. According to Page Six, a source told US Weekly that:

"She had to separate from him . . . to get ahead and focus on her career. He was in trouble then and she couldn’t help him. A lot of her songs were partially inspired by him. I know ‘The One That Got Away’ and ‘Circle the Drain’ are partly about him, as well as Travis [McCoy of Gym Class Heroes]. But she was young and it was a time in her life she cherishes."

4) Johnny Lewis has a daughter named Culla May with a former girlfriend

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However, 2009 was one of Lewis' final successful years as a rising star in the industry. He then made the decision to quit Sons of Anarchy after two seasons. He subsequently learned that his then-girlfriend, Diane Marshall-Green, was pregnant with his child. After the birth of their daughter Culla May in 2010, his relationship with Diane soured, and the two got involved in a custody battle.


5) He met with a fatal accident and served time in prison in the months leading up to his death

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On October 30, 2011, Johnny Lewis incurred brutal head injuries during a high-speed motorcycle crash. He was instructed to undergo an MRI, but he refused. As a result, he soon began exhibiting strange, irrational, and suspicious behavior. This was in addition to his subsequent legal concerns, which included having to spend time in a rehab center.

He then went through multiple arrests for the felonies he committed during the initial months of 2012. In August, the actor pleaded no-contest to two charges related to assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He was initially sentenced to a year in prison, with an additional 291 days, but was released earlier than expected on September 21, 2012.

Five days later, Johnny Lewis allegedly beat his landlady, 81-year-old Catherine Davis, to death before falling to death himself.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar