Downey Jr gets full pardon

Cast member Robert Downey Jr. poses at the European premiere of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" in London, in this file photo taken Apr 21.
Cast member Robert Downey Jr. poses at the European premiere of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" in London, in this file photo taken Apr 21.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Actor Robert Downey Jr has "earned a full and unconditional pardon" of the drug conviction that landed him in prison years ago and almost derailed his career.

Downey, who has been one of Hollywood's top stars since his 2008 comeback in Iron Man, was among 91 people granted pardons last Thursday by Governor Jerry Brown of California, who has made a tradition of granting pardons on Christmas Eve, The Los Angeles Times said.

Downey, 50, was arrested on drug and weapons charges in 1996 after he was stopped by the police. After multiple probation violations, he was sentenced to prison in 1999.

After his release, his troubles continued, and by 2003, he was considered uninsurable as an actor and had difficulty finding work. But one day that year, he told David Carr of The New York Times, he threw all his drugs into the ocean and decided he was done. The pardon does not erase his record, but it does allow him to serve on a jury. He submitted a certificate of rehabilitation from a judge earlier this year. It said that he "has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen", according to the pardon.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'Downey Jr gets full pardon'. Print Edition | Subscribe