Indio Downey, Robert Downey Jr.’s 22-year-old son from his relationship with Deborah Falconer, was in front of a judge March 8 to see his felony cocaine possession charge from June 2014 dismissed. The news of the dismissal came on the heels of Indio Downey successfully completing a 20-month rehab stint.
Entertainment Tonight reported that back in June 2014, Robert Downey Jr. commented on his son’s drug charges and expressed his concern that Indio had inherited his potential for drug addiction.
— E! Online (@eonline) March 8, 2016
“Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it,” Downey Jr. said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight after Indio’s arrest. “Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being. 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.”
Robert Downey Jr., of course, is all too aware of the dangers of drugs, having been something of a Hollywood bad boy himself prior to his renaissance as one of Tinseltown’s top leading men in the 21st century. Now happily married with two young children, the 50-year-old says that he has been drug-free since 2003.
Dr. Glen Hanson of the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah said that while there is a genetic component to addiction, genetics alone does not govern someone’s chances of being an addict.
“Just because you are prone to addiction doesn’t mean you’re going to become addicted,” he said. “It just means you’ve got to be careful.”
It should be noted that the science of studying which genes could be responsible for addiction focuses on biological differences that may make someone more or less vulnerable to addiction. In addition, there are certain environmental factors that may predispose someone to having a greater chance to become addicted to a substance.
According to TMZ, following the dismissal, Indio Downey told Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein, “I would like to say I am truly grateful for the experience I had over the last 20 months in recovery.”
Downey Jr.’s son also said that he hoped that he would be able to serve as an “inspiration” to others because of how he has dealt with the charges.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) March 9, 2016
News that the charges had been dismissed against Indio Downey comes just a short two months after California Governor Jerry Brown granted Robert Downey Jr. a full pardon regarding his prior drug convictions. One of the convictions led to Downey Jr. spending a year behind bars.
However, that part of Downey Jr.’s past is safely behind him; his pardon reads, in part, “By completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community of his residence since his release, Robert John Downey, Jr. has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon.”
In the book Robert Downey Jr. 11:15 to Dawn, the actor talks a little about his experiences behind bars, saying that while he was in jail, he listened to a lot of music, and the song of particular comfort to him was Sting’s “Brand New Day.”
“I had some CDs sent to me when I was inside, but the one that was released when I was doing time was Sting’s album Brand New Day,” Downey Jr. said in the book. “I derived a lot of comfort from that.”
No doubt, Downey Jr. likely draws a lot of comfort from his son’s successful rehab stint. Fortunately, Indio did not have to spend any time behind bars and instead officially claimed his life back. Downey Jr. probably also derives a great deal of comfort from his son Indio having the drug charges against him dismissed, given his personal understanding of the dangers of drug abuse.
[Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images]