In Deepwater Horizon, Mark Wahlberg plays a hero, as he has done so many times previously, but in real life, Wahlberg’s life isn’t marked by such grand acts of heroism. In fact, an assault Mark committed in his teens, long before his rise to stardom was launched, still haunts him to this day.
Wahlberg had previously initiated a plea for a pardon from the government of Massachusetts, but the Deepwater Horizon actor has now withdrawn that request. Does this mean Wahlberg will complete a jail sentence for the crime, or is it just a matter of leaving a blemish on the actor’s criminal record?
Mark Wahlberg Withdraws His Request For A Pardon
People reveals that Mark Wahlberg might have continued his pursuit of a pardon from the Massachusetts parole board over a 1988 assault case if he had only responded to the board’s inquiry. Wahlberg’s failure to respond has forced the board to drop Mark’s request. The issue stems from an assault committed by then 16-year-old Mark during a convenience store robbery. While Wahlberg was sentenced to a three-month jail term, the Massachusetts parole board released the Deepwater Horizon star after just 45 days.
In the petition for a pardon, Wahlberg had included a statement, pointing to the great lengths he has gone in turning his life around. The statement points to Mark’s accomplishments as a musical artist, actor, and filmmaker, as well as his involvement in charities, in asking the board to consider his pardon.
The petition for a pardon was first issued by the actor in 2014, but he says he now regrets requesting clemency for his acts and feels that the mark should remain on his record. The Deepwater Horizon actor feels remorse for having committed the assaults and attempted robbery, agreeing with his victims that the blemish should not be expunged from his record.
Deepwater Horizon Star Mark Wahlberg Opens Up About His 1988 Crimes
Wahlberg took time away from his promotion of Deepwater Horizon at the Toronto International Film Festival to talk with the Wrap about dropping his request for a pardon. In speaking about the incident and the follow-up request to have the matter expunged from his record, Mark said the request for a pardon was ill-advised and said he regretted ever submitting the plea. He does add that he’s thankful that the request for a pardon did afford him the opportunity to meet with one of his assault victims, Hoa Trinh.
“It was one of those things where it was just kind of presented to me, and if I could’ve done it over again I would never have focused on that or applied,” said Mr. Wahlberg.
Mark adds that he didn’t need an official paper to prove he has learned from his mistakes and has endeavored to right the wrongs he committed in 1988. The pardon request, met with protests from the Massachusetts Asian American community, was something Wahlberg was pressed into doing, says the actor. He says he regrets forcing himself and his victims to relive the crimes over again.
Initially, Wahlberg was accused of beating Trinh so badly that he ended up losing sight in one eye, but later investigations discovered that the blindness actually stemmed from injuries Trinh suffered a decade earlier.
“I was relieved to find out that the injuries to his eye had occurred in the early ’70s and not from the incident that happened that night,” Wahlberg said. “But I was able to meet with him and his wife and his daughter and apologize for those horrific acts. Some good did come out of it.”
Mr. Wahlberg sought the pardon, partly because he wants to work with California law enforcement in helping at-risk people, but the Deepwater Horizon actor says he never wanted the pardon to urge people to forget about his past. Instead, Mark thinks his past and his ensuing success can inspire others.
“I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past,” Mark Wahlberg wrote in his pardon petition. “To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”
Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, and Dylan O’Brien, hits theaters on September 30.
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]