Reports are flooding in that Robert Downey Jr. has been granted a full and unconditional pardon by California Governor Jerry Brown for drug convictions accumulated by the actor during the nineties. It has become somewhat of a tradition in California to scrub clean the criminal records of past offenders deemed worthy on Christmas Eve.
“Pardons are not granted unless they are earned,” Brown explained.
The fifty-year-old actor struggled with drug addiction during the late nineties, and spent several short stints in prison for minor drug-related charges. In 1996, Downey Jr. received his longest sentence, which was served for two years and eight months, after being convicted of possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence.
This took place during a time when Downey Jr.’s artistic career and life was on the line due to his substance abuse issues. He completed his parole in 2002 and spent the next three years on probation.
“I accidentally (got) involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together,” Downey Jr. told Rolling Stone Magazine in an interview back in 2002. “Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention.”
Slowly but surely, the actor began to piece his career back together, finding success with his portrayal of tortured “genius, billionaire, playboy, (and) philanthropist” Tony Stark in Marvel Studio’s popular Iron Man and Avengers franchise.
“He (Downey Jr.) has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen,” stated the proclamation on the California governor’s website.
Good job, Robert! May the following years bring you further success and good health.