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Robert Downey Jr. pardoned for drug conviction

Published 24/12/2015

Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr. has been officially excused by the Californian Governor for his 1996 felony for drugs possession.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. has been pardoned for his 1996 drugs conviction.

The Iron Man star was arrested on a Los Angeles County highway nearly 20 years ago, and authorities found heroin, cocaine and a pistol in his vehicle.

Downey Jr. was convicted of felony drug possession, but on Thursday (24Dec15), Californian Governor Jerry Brown's office announced he was among 91 people receiving pardons.

The actor, now 50, violated his probation for the conviction in 1999, and was sent to prison for nearly a year, but having received his pardon, Downey Jr. has regained the right to vote.

Governor Brown's website explained that a pardon doesn't erase records of a conviction but is a public proclamation the person has demonstrated "exemplary behaviour."

In Downey Jr.’s case, he has turned his life around and gone on to be named as Forbes magazine’s highest paid actor for the last three years, earning $80 million in the last year (15) alone thanks to his role as Iron Man in the hit Marvel franchise of movies.

While the actor or his publicist is yet to comment on the pardon, Downey Jr. has often reflected on his time behind bars and past drug taking.

“All those years of snorting coke, and then I accidentally get involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2010. “Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenceless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention. When the door clicks shut, then you are safe. There is nothing aside from a rogue correctional officer that can do you harm if you have the right cellie. You are actually in the safest place on Earth. Safe from the intruders.”

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