Mark Wahlberg regrets pardon request
The actor is grateful he had the opportunity to apologise to the man he assaulted nearly 30 years ago.
Mark Wahlberg regrets requesting a pardon stemming from an assault charge in the 1980s.
In 2014, The Departed star asked Massachusetts state officials to help him clear his name over an assault conviction in 1988. Wahlberg spent 45 days in jail for beating up two Vietnamese men in separate incidents in his hometown of Dorchester when he was 16, and he filed a petition asking for the felony charge to be removed from his record.
The pardon request sparked outrage among a number of critics, including members of an Asian-American activist group, and the application is still pending.
But during a question and answer session to promote his new film Deepwater Horizon at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday (13Sep16), the movie star opened up about the case and admitted his attempt to expunge the charges from his record were ill-advised.
"It was one of those things where it was just kind of presented to me, and if I could've done it over again I would never have focused on that or applied," he told TheWrap. "I didn’t need that, I spent 28 years righting the wrong. I didn’t need a piece of paper to acknowledge it. I was kind of pushed into doing it, I certainly didn’t need to or want to relive that stuff over again."
Wahlberg, 45, previously insisted he was seeking the pardon for personal reasons rather than financial or professional gain. In fact, the process even gave him the opportunity to meet with and apologise to one of the victims, Hoa Trinh, who lost sight in one of eye as a result of the beating - or so the star had been led to believe.
"I was relieved to find out that the injuries to his eye had occurred in the early ’70s and not from the incident that happened that night," Wahlberg explained. "I was able to meet with him and his wife and his daughter and apologise for those horrific acts. Some good did come out of it."
Wahlberg aims to continue to use the incident as a positive lesson for youngsters faced with a similar troubles, and in his pardon filing, he stated one of his main reasons for seeking the pardon was so he could help at-risk individuals.
In the request, he wrote, "I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past. To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed."
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