Arrested on drug charges in L.A., the actor checks into rehab

By Lori Reese
Updated April 27, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Robert Downey Jr: Culver City Police Department/AP World Wide

Actor Robert Downey Jr., arrested early Tuesday morning on drug charges, has lost his gig on ”Ally McBeal.” Exec producer David E. Kelley released a statement saying that he has nixed plans to include the actor in the four remaining episodes. ”We are wrapping up the stories on the final few episodes of ‘Ally McBeal’ for the season without him,” Kelley said late Tuesday. Downey — whose regular guest appearances had helped boost ratings for the Fox comedy — won a Golden Globe award this year for his role as Calista Flockhart’s boyfriend.

Downey, 36, was taken into custody in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City. Citing a police spokesman, the Associated Press reported that the actor was on foot when he was arrested and booked for investigation of being under the influence of a controlled substance. There were few details about what kind of behavior led to the actor’s arrest, and the type of suspected drug wasn’t immediately known.

Police detained Downey for several hours, then issued a citation and released him to his parole agent. His arrest could have resulted in jail time. But Downey’s agent opted to send him to a detoxification center for 72 hours instead, a California Department of Corrections spokesperson told the AP. The actor must appear in court May 4.

Downey is expected at a separate court appearance on April 30, when his lawyers will ask the court to suppress evidence found in his Palm Springs hotel room last Thanksgiving. Downey was arrested then for being under the influence of a controlled substance in addition to felony possession of cocaine and Valium.

Kelley publicly supported Downey after the arrest last November, hiring him to work on more episodes of ”Ally.” Responding to the latest incident, Downey’s spokesman Alan Nierob told the AP that the actor is now ”in charge of his own destiny.”

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