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Mark Wahlberg's pardon request dropped

Published 16/09/2016

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg

Actor failed to respond to officials' inquiry to keep petition open

Mark Wahlberg's request for a pardon stemming from assault charges nearly 30 years ago has been dropped.

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.

However, a Massachusetts Parole Board spokesman told the Associated Press on Thursday (15Sep16) that the request has been dropped, since Wahlberg did not respond to a letter asking him if he wanted to keep the petition open. As a result, the case was closed.

The news comes days after the Hollywood star told TheWrap he regrets requesting the pardon in the first place, 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 the site. "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 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.

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