California Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday pardoned film star Robert Downey Jr. for drug and weapons charges during the 1990s, a symbolic gesture that leaves the actor’s criminal record intact but allows him to serve on a jury.
Downey, 50, was lauded for his “good conduct” since leaving prison more than 15 years ago.
Downey was arrested in 1996 after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies pulled him over in a traffic stop and found a concealed pistol and drugs in the car.
Downey was in and out of jail, rehabs and courts since the 1990s. His IRS troubles also made headlines. He had earned an Oscar nomination for his role as the legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 movie “Chaplin.”
The son of filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., who Downey Jr. has revealed to be the one who introduced him to drugs, re-emerged in the last decade as a highly bankable star in Hollywood, playing the superhero “Iron Man” in the movie franchise and earning another Oscar nomination for his racial bender role in the 2008 comedy “Tropic Thunder.”
Downey in October obtained a Los Angeles court order “evidencing that since his release from custody he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen,” according to his pardon.