Robert Downey Jr pardoned for 90s drugs and weapons offences

Robert Downey Jr, the highest paid actor in Hollywood, was pardoned on Christmas Eve by the governor of California for drug and weapon offences committed in the 1990s, following the actor’s request for clemency.

Downey Jr: Pardoned. Picture: AP
Downey Jr: Pardoned. Picture: AP

Downey was convicted in 1996 of possession of a controlled substance, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction, driving under the influence with prior convictions and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

He served one year and three months in prison and several years on parole and probation, with his case discharged in 2002 after he completed the terms of his sentence.

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The actor’s legal troubles gave him a reputation as one of Hollywood’s “bad boys” and threatened to derail his career after he had earned an Oscar nomination for playing Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 movie Chaplin.

Downey Jr has re-emerged in the last decade as one of the most popular stars in Hollywood, holding the title role in the Iron Man franchise and winning another Oscar nomination for his role in 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder.