Robert Down Jr. was introduced to drugs earlier than his father is proud of. In the new documentary, Sr. told the late filmmaker that he first linked his son to narcotics when he was just six years old.
Downey Sr. remembered playing poker at home with friends when he caught his son secretly taking a sip of white wine from one of the glasses on the table. Instead of lecturing his then 6-year-old son, he offered him a joint.
According to the filmmaker, he did that because he didn’t want to be a hypocrite. “We thought marijuana and stuff like that was pretty harmless. After all, we did it ourselves,” Downey Sr. explained. about his position at the time. “But it was idiotic of us to share that with our child. I am very happy that he is still here.”
Robert Downey Jr., known for the Iron Man and The Avengers films, among others, thought aloud in the documentary about the impact of that drug encounter on his life. At the age of eight, Downey Jr. having already been addicted. “I think we shouldn’t be remiss and discuss the effect on my life.” The actor would later find himself in and out of prison and continue to battle addiction throughout his life.
It wasn’t the first time Downey Sr. told about his son’s drug use at a young age. He previously spoke about this to Vanity Fair . “We were smoking a little weed and playing poker. My little boy was kind of staring at me funny.” According to the senior, his son was a very conscious observer of everything. “I then said to him, ‘You know, you should try this instead of drinking wine.'”
Downey Sr. continued: “I gave him a joint when he was only six years old.” He immediately felt that he was not acting right. “I suddenly felt I had made a terrible and stupid mistake: how on earth can you give drugs to a little kid just to be funny?” Downey Sr. then joked that people thought his son was a dealer at the age of 8 because he had been involved with drugs so many times by then.
Although the former filmmaker felt very guilty about his son’s exposure to drugs, Downey Jr. never blamed his father. “I’ll never forgive myself, but Robert and I worked it out and he told me, ‘I’m not a victim, Dad. You don’t have to blame anyone.'”
Downey Sr. died in July 2021 at the age of 85 after losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
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