Robert Downey Sr. Says Son Getting Sober Is His 'Highlight'

By McCarton Ackerman 11/26/14

Forget all the great performances or the summer blockbusters, Robert Downey Jr.'s father is proudest of his sobriety.

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Robert Downey Jr. has become one of the highest-paid and most successful actors in Hollywood, but his father is just happy to see him clean and sober.

Robert Downey Sr. said he is more proud of his son getting sober than his acting career. The filmmaker recently told the New York Post that “when my son turned his life around, that’s my highlight moment.”

Of course, his drug issues likely started from Downey Sr. reportedly giving his son drugs starting at the age of eight. In 1996, Downey Jr. was found at a traffic stop with a handgun, heroin and both powder and crack cocaine. Several drug-related issues with the law resulted in numerous rehab stints and a prison sentence in 1999. Downey Jr. was then arrested two more times after his prison sentence before finally getting clean.

“Job one is get out of that cave,” he said last September to Vanity Fair. “A lot of people do get out but don’t change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal.”

Downey Jr. also recently opened up about the drug issues of his son, Indio, who was arrested last June for possession of cocaine. The 20-year-old spent two months in a drug treatment program and later pled guilty to felony cocaine possession, but will have the charges dropped if he completes his drug program and remains sober for 18 months.

Downey, Jr. released a statement about his son’s arrest, declaring that “there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s Department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.”

He will also use his past experience with drugs as the premise for a movie. Downey Jr. is onboard to produce a drama for Showtime that takes place in a Venice Beach rehab during the 1980s.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.