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Robert Downey Jr.: Father gave him drugs when he was six years old

Robert Downey Jr.
Father gave him drugs when he was six years old

Robert Downey Jr. has conquered his demons now.

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Robert Downey Jr. was first introduced to drugs by his father when he was six years old. Two years later he was dependent.

In the Netflix documentary “Sr.” tells Robert Downey Jr. (57) about his father Robert Downey Sr. (1936-2021). He doesn’t leave out the bad sides of his family history either. Downey Jr. was only six years old when he first got involved with drugs. His father allegedly handed him a joint and let him hit it. Robert Downey Sr. also struggled with drug problems at times, as the filmmaker tells about his life and career in the documentary.

Years later, the director has realized he made “a terrible, stupid mistake” when he gave his son drugs. Life at home consisted of “growing up in a family where everyone did drugs,” Downey Jr. said. He was said to have been addicted to drugs by the age of eight.

The documentary includes a snippet of an interview, apparently from the 1990s, in which Downey Sr., standing next to his son, admits about drug use: “A lot of us were doing things and found it hypocritical not to let our kids participate, so we let her have a smoke. It was really stupid of us all to share that with the kids. Luckily he’s still around.”

Comeback after drug career

Robert Downey Jr., who was close to his father, was arrested multiple times for drug possession in the ’90s and spent a total of over a year in prison. According to his own statements, he has been clean since July 2003 and made a spectacular comeback with his roles as “Iron Man” and “Sherlock Holmes”.

Robert Downey Sr., who died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in 2021 at the age of 85, was born in New York City in 1936. At the age of 22 he entered the film industry and tried his hand at being a screenwriter and director for a long time. In 1969 he celebrated his first success with “Putney Swope”. Works like “Babo 73” or “Greaser’s Palace” followed. As an actor, he was seen in 1985 in “Leben und Tosterben in LA”, 1997 in “Boogie Nights” and in 2011 in “Tower Heist”. Robert Downey Jr. is from his marriage to Elsie Downey (1934-2014). In total, the director was married three times.

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