Robert Downey Jr. Pardoned for Past Drug Conviction After Paying 'His Debt to Society'
By John Boone
Merry Christmas indeed, Iron Man.
Robert Downey Jr. has been officially pardoned for a 1996 drug conviction. The then 31-year-old actor was arrested in Los Angeles after authorities found heroin, cocaine, and a pistol in his car. After violating his parole for that arrest, Downey spent nearly a year in prison.
Now, the 50-year-old actor has been pardoned, along with 91 other people, by California Governor Jerry Brown.
“By completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community of his residence since his release, Robert John Downey, Jr. has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon,” the pardon reads.
The news should come as a relief to Downey, who says he has been drug-free since 2003 and has made it clear that he wants to move on from that time in his life.
While promoting Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron earlier this year, the actor walked out of an interview with UK's Channel 4 News when he was repeatedly questioned about the "dark period" in his life.
“I just wish I’d left sooner,” Downey later said. "What I have to do in the future is give myself permission to say, 'That is more than likely a syphilitic parasite, and I need to distance myself from this clown.’"
Now, check out this flashback to an incredibly bashful RDJ when ET caught up with him in 1987: