April 25, 2001
12:26 PM   Subscribe

Robert Downey, Jr. arrested yet again on drug charges. He was fired from "Ally McBeal" directly afterward. Is anyone even surprised anymore?
posted by brittney (37 comments total)
No, which is perhaps why it hasn't been posted until now (I saw it online last night).

It's too bad, really, I'm surprised he hasn't hired someone to keep him from doing this kind of thing. If he's serious about beating this, he should hire what would essentially be an anti-bodyguard to protect him from himself.
posted by daveadams at 12:31 PM on April 25, 2001


posted by o2b at 12:37 PM on April 25, 2001

"We are sorry...

the broadband content located at home.excite.com is available to existing @Home customers only. To find out how to sign up for the nation's #1 high-speed cable Internet service and enjoy the content of the future, please click here."

Boo. Hiss.
posted by megnut at 12:45 PM on April 25, 2001

Here's a link to CNN.
posted by megnut at 12:46 PM on April 25, 2001

Accept my apologies on that one. Boo and hiss indeed.
posted by brittney at 12:49 PM on April 25, 2001

Well, if you have a little time on your hands, I just added a "Who is more likely to be arrested?" list to my celebritybattles website after seeing this post on SVN.

As of this posting, Robert Downey jr is 5th after Teddy Kennedy, Darryl Strawberry, Orenthal Simpson, and eminem.
posted by kcalder at 12:58 PM on April 25, 2001

It's a shame the star of 'The Pick-up Artist' couldn't keep himself together for at least one season. But drugs seem to be endemic in the US entertainment industry- look at Aaron Sorkin. Downey's biggest misfortune was being an actor, which is supposed to be one of God's chosen professions. If he'd been a musician, people would have accepted it as part of the job . . .
posted by feelinglistless at 1:02 PM on April 25, 2001

I considered pulling Downey from my (alas, ill-fated) deadpool. He's a ringer.
posted by jpoulos at 1:04 PM on April 25, 2001

Downey's recidivism rate is so high he's now being arrested before he's even let out of prison from the last set of charges. (Or so it appears to me.)
posted by jbushnell at 1:33 PM on April 25, 2001

just curious, anyone have any ideas about downey's rate of consumption?

i know people that use drugs with regularity and have NEVER been in trouble with the law. i've even met a few people who make their livelihood from the sale of drugs and again, no legal troubles. but rd jr. seems to get busted at the drop of a hat. either he is extraordinarily unlucky(HA) or he is spending every waking hour chasing the pipe. perhaps a little time in a prison with a big, tatooed boyfriend rather than the cushy confines of the malibu county jail, replete with televisions and soft drink machines, would finally trigger the switch in his brain(if he hasn't fried it yet).
posted by donkeysuck at 1:46 PM on April 25, 2001

I think it's more of a case of the LAPD watching him 24/7 for another "get".

The guy is a loser though.
posted by owillis at 1:49 PM on April 25, 2001

perhaps a little time in a prison with a big, tatooed boyfriend rather than the cushy confines of the malibu county jail

that's not funny
posted by jpoulos at 1:52 PM on April 25, 2001

i'm sure you're right, owillis. downey has been doing drugs literally since he was a small child. he only started getting caught a few years ago. now he can't go anywhere without leaving a slew of opportunistic tipsters in his wake. the guy is being shadowed by an entire country.
posted by jpoulos at 1:54 PM on April 25, 2001

Yeah, he's a loser, a druggie, or perhaps someone who just seems bound to fuck up in public.

He's also one of the most prodigiously talented actors of his/my generation, and it really bums me out to watch him piss it all away. What a waste.
posted by Skot at 1:56 PM on April 25, 2001

"I know people that use drugs with regularity and have NEVER been in trouble with the law."

Agreed. RDJ seems to have built up quite a reputation (or something) amongst our law officials. Perhaps they have some sort of competition going as to who gets the most RDJ arrests? Or do they just enjoy publicity? Maybe they just like the idea of one day being alble to tell their Grandkids "Once m'lad, I even arrested Robert Downey Junior himself.....

A couple of RDJ escapades have been fairly attention-getting, but in Hollywood terms, that's not entirely unusual.
posted by lucien at 1:58 PM on April 25, 2001

I guess if he is show biz, he votes Democratic ticket. 'nuff said.
posted by Postroad at 2:05 PM on April 25, 2001

I don't think he's a loser - his story is tragic, really.

From what I've read, (ad as jpoulos has mentioned) RDJ started using drugs at a VERY young age. So young that an addiction to cocaine was hardwired into his body as he matured. A talented actor (loved him in Wonder Boys) he most certainly isn't stupid. He continues to use because he simply cannot stop. Quitting would be like giving up food and water for him.

As for why he gets caught so often, I can only speculate it's some kind of desperate cry for help.

Now then, all that said, I do have problems with the fact the RDJ has been treated with the utmost of gentility and kindness. Never out of work, he's always surrounded by the tenderness of the Hollywood elite. Were he a single black mother addicted to crack (the exact same drug) he'd have been been put in prison a long time ago and been shown no mercy.

Such is the story of drugs in the United States. So long as you're white and wealthy, you can do whatever you want.
posted by aladfar at 2:17 PM on April 25, 2001

Why are we so concerned with what he takes into his body? The fact that we consider this kind of stuff news is just absurd.
"This just in, Tom Cruise ate twice the suggested amount of aspirin this evening."
RDJ is a loser? He just does drugs. We TALK about about him doing drugs.
posted by Doug at 2:23 PM on April 25, 2001

I don't think it is news that RDJ does drugs, but that he can't keep himself out of jail.
posted by brittney at 2:36 PM on April 25, 2001

He's a functional addict. He's most likely less of a danger to the public (if not to himself, ultimately) than many of the studio execs who sacked him, and the journalists who celebrate his downfall.

aladfar's right, that he's been treated better than 99.99% of those arrested on similar charges. But in a sense, it'd be more humane for him to be locked up for 20 years and forgotten about than to be dangled on a string by the collective efforts of the media and the authorities.

He's quite literally a tragic figure, hubris head-on against nemesis. What was that line? That we pity those whom the gods smile upon.
posted by holgate at 2:52 PM on April 25, 2001

>>Why are we so concerned with what he takes into his body? The fact that we consider this kind of stuff news is just absurd.

I know, it's pathetic. America has turned into a nation of gossiping pansies, devoid of curiosity about goings-on in the real world.

The low-point, for me, came a few years ago when CNN reported that Bill Clinton might have worn a "special tie" to indicate his love for Monica. Species are dying off left and right, and yet the news anchors are giggling about a "special tie" - WTF?

Anyway, this Downey fellow obviously likes his drugs; let's leave him alone for change.
posted by johnb at 3:01 PM on April 25, 2001

that is: "let's leave him alone for a change."
posted by johnb at 3:06 PM on April 25, 2001

He just does drugs. We TALK about about him doing drugs.

RDJ does not "just do drugs." He's an addict who's almost certainly going to just do himself into the grave if he doesn't get off them for good. Yes, most drug laws are stupid. But some people will not or cannot moderate their drug intake. If there's anyone that needs to be forcibly taken off the streets for their own good, it's Downey.
posted by aaron at 3:30 PM on April 25, 2001

Interestingly enough, I just finished reading an article in the new Rolling Stone last night all about the previous Downey arrest in California, right after he got out. (Would put a link, but amazingly it was on *paper* with pages that turn and stuff!)

Then I log onto the net and see the new news on CNN.

It's too bad this guy can't get his life together. I guess he took his role from "Less Than Zero" a little too seriously.
posted by punkrockrat at 3:54 PM on April 25, 2001

aaron, he's not harming anyone else. i would think you of all people would be against the government protecting a person from himself.

i think this is one of the saddest stories around. i adore robert downey jr. and it's heartbreaking to see this happening time and time again. while i do think he needs help, i don't think law enforcement people are going to provide it. i don't know what would. he's been in rehab a million times. nothing works. i feel awful whenever i hear his name anymore. it's really tragic, and i'm really tiring quickly of the jokes.
posted by pikachulolita at 3:57 PM on April 25, 2001

When he stops taking drugs and getting arrested for said activity, the jokes will stop. Until then, he'll be the butt of them.
posted by owillis at 4:13 PM on April 25, 2001

owillis, what is that, a threat? Pikachulolita is expressing sadness at the fact that people are small-minded enough to make jokes at the expense of someone with serious problems, and that's your response?
Aaron, you're absolutely right. Tomorrow I'm going to have the police come to your house and remove any pointy objects, and dangerous chemicals. Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself.
posted by Doug at 4:31 PM on April 25, 2001

If there's anyone that needs to be forcibly taken off the streets for their own good, it's Downey.

I don't see why his drug problem should be anyone's issue but his own. He wants to take stupid risks that endanger only himself? Let him. He's a big boy.

And might I also suggest that there are lots of better places to spend money than in trying to save self-destructive celebrities from their expensive habits.

It's all very sad, but really, all this attention and money and thought could be much better spent on people who actually legitimately want help with their addictions. Too bad they're not famous.
posted by frenetic at 4:49 PM on April 25, 2001

I don't think it's a sad story. He's a joke. You are responsible for your actions, especially when you've had as many chances as this joker has.

(reading minds a little there Doug?)
posted by owillis at 4:55 PM on April 25, 2001

owillis, would it be a joke if it was someone you know? if some theoretical brother of yours had a very serious drug problem, tried over and over to solve it, and just couldn't, would that be funny? would you be angry at people calling *him* a joke? if not, well, sorry. overestimated your capacity for compassion. but i can't imagine that you would dismiss someone you knew so readily just because he cannot manage to get his life in order.

i don't know robert downey jr. he's just an actor to me. but to a lot of people, he's a friend, or a son, or a brother. because he doesn't hurt others with his actions, i won't condemn his behavior. i just think it's tragic. his celebrity does not diminish the tragedy.

and how is doug reading minds? i think he was spot-on.
posted by pikachulolita at 6:09 PM on April 25, 2001

well, can agree to disagree.
posted by owillis at 6:54 PM on April 25, 2001

Such is the story of drugs in the United States. So long as you're white and wealthy, you can do whatever you want.

I think it would be more correct to say, "so long as you're wealthy and/or famous." His race has nothing to do with his special treatment, nor with the poor black crack mom's abhorrent treatment.

As for whether it's worth discussing, Robert Downey Jr is a great actor, and thus a great artist. If Mozart were around today we'd likely be hearing about his addictions, his embarrassing public displays as a result of them, and his continual bailing out because of his father's wealth and fame. Surely it would be worth talking about, wouldn't it?
posted by daveadams at 10:02 PM on April 25, 2001

owillis, you didn't answer pikachu's question. Would you find it amusing and make jokes at the expense of your brother (or other close family member or friend) and call him a loser and advocate that he become friendly with large tattooed inmates if he were suffering from severe drug addiction?
posted by daveadams at 10:04 PM on April 25, 2001

I'd like to hear the answer to pikachulolita's question too, owillis.
posted by lia at 2:31 AM on April 26, 2001

If he were a relative, I probably would at the very least consider him a loser. Especially since he has had so many chances. Over and over again. The guy is a joke, who uses his Hollywood connections to screw over the system.

Yeah, they're keeping a close eye on him. But only because he makes it so damn easy.
posted by owillis at 3:11 AM on April 26, 2001

'Tragic'? 'A tragedy'?

I'm in owillis's corner, here, to a degree. Whether RDJ is a joke or not is debatable - I reckon he's just an unfortunately famous fella who likes his drugs a bit, and there's nothing wrong with that - but the larger situation is certainly risible. The ridiculous knee-jerk slapstick of America's attitude to drugs throws the cream pie, and good ol' RDJ pops up his head and takes one in the face.

What the whole thing is not, by any stretch of the imagination, in comparison to the real tragedies that happen on a daily basis in AmericaLand, is a tragedy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:01 AM on April 27, 2001

I had the opportunity to visit with Robert Downey Jr., just after he got out of his first official detox stint, while I was on the set of his father's television pilot whch I was featured in at NBC studios about 10 years ago.

As much as I admired Downey Sr. for being my director I look back on my experience with such a lack of respect for a man who almost single handedly ruined the life and brilliant career of his most talented son.

The real loser is Downey Sr.
posted by MarkBakalor at 1:17 AM on April 27, 2001

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