He was a cast member on "Baywatch," playing Hobie Buchannon, David Hasselhoff's son from the time he was 12 years old until he was 20.
After that he got caught up in drugs and alcohol. He's been sober now for eight years and is on a new reality show called "Confessions of a Teen Idol" on VH1.
In the show, Jackson tells his fellow castmates everything he had been through and he had been through hell and back.
"That's true," Jackson told Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez. "I've been offered other TV shows and other chances to get back on the boob tube. This one, it felt different to me. It felt right to me."
Like many other child stars, Jackson faced quite a struggle.
"Well I was a child star. I was successful all over the world doing stuff. I didn't want it. I wanted to party and I wanted to do my own thing. And I led myself down the worst possible road I could find. And I did it to the hilt. I took myself to hell and somehow emerged victoriously now. It's been crazy," he admitted.
Jackson had a successful career going before VH1's "Confessions of a Teen Idol" came along.
"Oh, yeah, movie offers, recording deals, TV show offers. I turned a lot of stuff down, lost a lot of money, lost a lot of friends and a lot of opportunities," he said.
"So why do this?" Rodriguez asked.
"Well, it's funny. I've been traveling around the world for the past two years doing lifestyle development for Christian Audigier and Ed Hardy brand. I had a successful career. I still do it. I have an assistant that runs it for me. I met with my manager who's my close friend, Jeff Buller. They were just like, 'It's time. Let's do something.' I said 'Yeah.'"
So, Jackson started going to acting class again and "put the parties on the back burner."
"And it just starts evolving, and I got the offer for the show. And it was done by former child stars about former child stars. I met with the producers, and it just felt right. It felt like the right show," he said.
Jackson's co-stars Eric Nies from MTV's "The Grind," Chris Atkins, who starred in "The Blue Lagoon" opposite Brooke Shields and Billy Hufsey from the TV series "Fame" are all fun to watch, he says.
"I learned a lot. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot -- it was a really cool experience to be with these guys who I could fellowship with. Guys that have really been where I've been," he said.
The show is therapy for Jackson as well.
"It has definitely therapeutic tones. There's a lot of hype about child stars, what it's like to be a child star and what is fame. What it was like to have it and lose it. We really dissect it and give people more of an understanding of what it was like to have it and lose it," he said.