Robert Downey Jr. Arrested Again

Once more on drugs, he wanders into a stranger's house

By Jeff B. Copeland Jul 18, 1996 12:00 AMTags
Robert Downey Jr.'s life just gets sadder.

During the day yesterday, the 31-year-old actor was charged with felony counts of heroin and cocaine possession, and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and concealing a firearm--the result of his June 23 arrest on arrival at his home in Malibu.

Then, last night, he wandered through the open front door of a Malibu home, fell into a bed and passed out. A frightened home owner, Lisa Curtis, discovered him--"deeply asleep"--she says, and police arrested Downey a second time for trespassing and for being under the influence of an unspecified controlled substance.

Paramedics took Downey to a hospital, where he was revived, and then to jail, where he spent the rest of the night. He was released this morning and was driven away, reportedly wearing a pillowcase over his head and flashing a middle finger at photographers.

On his way home, Downey stopped to apologize to Curtis, according to his lawyer. "I was saddened someone would let this happen to their life," she said.

Downey has been in a downward spiral for some time. People magazine reported that actor Larry Hagman, a Malibu neighbor, offered to pay for drug rehab after Downey asked to borrow $100,000. And Sean Penn chartered a plane to fly Downey to a detox center in Arizona about two months ago, the magazine said. He escaped the next day. Model Deborah Falconer, his girlfriend, reportedly took their 3 1/2-year-old son and left their Malibu home in April.

Downey's attorney said today that "a treatment program is under way," presumably for drugs. The actor's starring role in Chaplin (1992) won him an Oscar nomination. He also appeared in Natural Born Killers, To Live and Die in L.A. and Soapdish.

His father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., called him "a great artist, a great friend. And when he beats this, he'll be a great man."

He'll be arraigned on July 26 for his first arrest and on August 30 for his second.