Robert Downey Jr. arrested again

Associated Press

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Robert Downey Jr. was arrested for alleged drug possession less than four months after being released from prison and relaunching his career, police said.

An anonymous caller led investigators to a hotel room at the Merv Griffin Resort on Saturday night where they found the actor alone with cocaine and methamphetamine, police officer Ralph Landry said.

“He was conscious and conversed with the officers,” Landry said. “He was very cooperative.”

Downey, 35, was arrested for alleged drug possession, being under the influence of a controlled substance and committing a felony while free on bail, police said.

He was released Sunday on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court within 30 days.

Downey landed a recurring role on the Fox television series “Ally McBeal” after being released from prison in August.

Bail bondsman Jack Duke said Downey told him that he he’d been working 16-to-18-hour days on the television show and was under a lot of pressure.

“To me, he looked very tired, but he wasn’t loaded,” Duke said today. “He looked beat. You could tell by his eyes he wanted to get away from everything and everybody. He was very nice.”

Dennis Hopper, who has sought treatment for narcotics abuse, was among members of the Hollywood community who rallied behind Downey on Sunday.

“It’s really, really important because the industry needs him, the world needs him. He’s a great, great talent and a very sensitive man, and I’m sorry for this terrible addiction,” Hopper told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.

Telephone messages left by The Associated Press at Downey’s agent’s offices were not returned.

The actor told a judge last year that his drug addiction was “like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth, with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.”

His legal troubles began in 1996 when he was stopped for speeding and authorities found cocaine, heroin and a pistol in his vehicle.

A month later he was found passed out in a neighbor’s home and three days later, he was arrested for leaving a recovery center.

In August 1999, Downey was sentenced to three years in prison for violating his probation by missing scheduled drug tests. He was released a year later on $5,000 bail.

The son of film director Robert Downey, he earned an Oscar nomination for his work in the title role in “Chaplin,” the 1992 screen biography of the famed comedian. Other film credits include “Less Than Zero,” “Natural Born Killers” and “Wonder Boys.”

Downey planned in January to star in a Los Angeles stage run of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to be directed by Mel Gibson.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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