Robert Downey Jr.’s Son Busted For Cocaine

June 30th, 2014 // 27 Comments
Robert Downey Jr.
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For a very long time, Robert Downey Jr. was a walking punchline thanks to an epic coke addiction that landed him in and out of jail whenever he wasn’t alone in a hotel room with a Wonder Woman costume. But after getting a lifeline tossed to him by Mel Gibson who cast him in The Singing Detective, he was able to sober up and get his career to a point where Disney literally backed up trucks full of money just to get him to show up in two more Avengers movies. Except now comes the shitty part where he has to walk the razor’s edge of keeping his 20-year-old son clean without looking like a giant hypocrite to him. TMZ reports:

Robert Downey Jr.’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon … law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
We’re told Indio Downey was a passenger in a car at around 2 PM PT when cops drove up along side the vehicle and noticed the passenger was smoking something out of a pipe.
An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over, did a search and allegedly found cocaine in Indio’s possession. He was arrested and taken to jail for possession of cocaine.

Robert Downey Jr. has since released a statement:

“Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. 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.”
Downey adds … “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.”

Jesus. I don’t even know what kind of snarky shit you say here except that somehow this is Gwyneth Paltrow‘s fault. I don’t have any evidence or a specific reason to back any of that up, and I probably never will, but somehow I just know. I just know. Anyway, never invite me to an intervention. That’s the main point here.

“Jim, we’re concerned about how your addiction is affecting your family-”
And why you’re always around Gwyneth Paltrow!
“Goddammit. Somebody get him out of here! Who invited him?”

Photo: Getty


  1. cajunhawk

    Blames genetics for his sons addiction…ignores the fact that he named him Fucking Indio.

  2. Just passing through

    Wouldn’t he only be a hypocrite if he’s STILL doing drugs and trying to keep his son clean?

    • Agreed from an adult POV, but from the messed-up-kid’s POV it can be like “hey, YOU did it when YOU were young, and you turned out OK”. Probably RDJ has heard that from his son a time or 10 already.

  3. “Cocaine is a very powerful drug….son.”

  4. Short Round

    Blaming genetics is the typical pitiful excuse of the self-absorbed narcissist. Easier to blame something else than to take responsibility for their own failures.

    • Narcissism is genetic, but absorbing one’s self is a lifestyle choice.

    • You’re probably just trolling, but bzzzt, wrong.There’s a strong genetic component to the mannter and intensity of one’s physiological and neurological reaction to drugs, and that feeds into addictive behavior. It’s not the whole enchilada, but it’s a big part.

  5. PassingTrue

    Probably less hypocrisy than irony. However, from what I’ve read, RDJ seems to have a better than average understanding of the power of addiction, as well as enough resources, and hopefully will be better informed than most parents in terms of what his son will need going forward. Of course, this will all be seen in the less than helpful view of a relentless press spotlight. The best to both parents and family. The road just got bumpy. None of this meant to be funny. It just isn’t.

  6. I have a friend who is an alcoholic. Her entire family are alcoholics.

    Robert Downey Jr. is correct: genetics play a key role in who becomes an addict.

    But he also omitted that environment plays a key role, too. Just because your family are all addicts doesn’t mean you are doomed to become one, too.

    It may be that if Indio had been adopted at birth by a family without Downey’s own history of addiction (Robert Downey Sr. was also an addict), he might not have gotten into trouble with drugs.

    Point is, he’s in trouble now and perhaps his father’s own experience can be a guide to get him out of this trouble. Rehabilitation, not prison, is the key to California anti-drug laws now, and that’s a welcome change when addicts were made into criminals.

    • A change that came about only after California ran out of prisons.

    • Could it be possible that everyone in that family is an alcoholic…because they have a lot of alcohol around? It’s like people with Religion…you are born with Catholics…9 times out of 10 you are gonna be a Catholic. It’s not genetic it’s your surroundings. This kid had an addict father…but was also rich and young. Rich young kids like drugs. Saying addiction is genetic makes it a cop out. Don’t blame…it those pesky DNA strands that are fucking me up. Come the fuck on.

    • Short version: I have gone out drinking with a friend who later ended up in rehab. She drank no more and no less than I did but the next day, I stopped. I drank for fun but I was in control. Her reaction to alcohol was different than mine.

      She also comes from a family where many people are alcoholics. But it’s not possible to separate nature from nurture in determining human behaviour. There is no doubt, however, that some people are genetically predisposed to alcoholism or other forms of addiction.

      Exhibit A: Native Americans. There’s a reason they shouldn’t drink. They cannot metabolise alcohol.

    • I come from a family of alcoholics, but rarely drink. Saying there is a genetic component isn’t the same as saying everyone in your family is doomed. I am careful with drinking because I know what happened to my dad, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, and great grandfather. You have to acknowledge that the predisposition is there and act accordingly. If you think it’s all environmental I suggest you go do some research. It’s not.

      Likewise, RDJ is not saying it’s ALL genetics. He’s not sidestepping blame. He’s just saying that being clean now doesn’t guarantee your kids will be able to skirt that demon when in an environment where it is common *and* they are already genetically predisposed.

  7. In an interesting demonstration of the dichotomies possible in the human psyche, Mel Gibson didn’t simply cast RDJ in “The Singing Detective”, but personally self-insured the production out of his own pocket when no insurance company would touch it while RDJ was in the lead. Gibson quite literally rescued RDJ’s career, and very likely saved his life.

    He might not be too fond of the Jews, and overly fond of sugar tits and blowjobs, but Gibson has a definitely humane streak in him as well.

    • Helping Hand

      I agree. At the time Mel cast that movie, RDJ couldn’t get work
      in Hollywood doing anything. He had burned every bridge, and
      had nowhere to go. Mel put his own money up, surrounded him
      with people to help and support him, and gave him a chance.
      RDJ dusted himself off, stepped up, and 12+ years later he’s
      one of the highest paid, most talented actors in town. Mel
      may have some major PR issues, but he knows talent, and
      he helped RDJ when NOBODY else gave a shit. Hopefully
      RDJ can help his son over this. If anybody can, he can.

  8. Leila

    Fucking awful. The reality is that this kid has access to unlimited money and drugs. Even if his dad cuts him off, he could get anything on credit. He has “friends” who will encourage his habit, he has the role model of a father who has already navigated the drug scene, including addiction, ending up with massive success on the other end. He’s got the gene for it, he has the money for it, and he is too young to realize what a fucking risk he is taking with his life. Depressing.

  9. That’s awful. Genetics, environment, money and connections at 20, it’s a potent combination.

  10. anonymous

    I find it funny how nobody at TMZ bothered to learn RDJ’s son’s name in the newsreport.

  11. Based on my extensive knowledge of addiction and my one semester of college level psychology, it was proven that the addiction gene only makes the child about 6% more prone to addiction themselves, in the genetic sense. The high rate of children becoming addicts like their family members is primarily due to nurture.

    Sources: my psychology book that the bookstore refused to fucking buy back because they’re thieves; also rehab, AA and alanon.

  12. Wow. So many angles here. Thank you Mel Gibson for banking on RDJ when no one else would, RDJ knows what he’s talking about given his history. I hope he can save his son the same way Mel saved him.

    The Hollywood environment definitely plays a part here. Remove him from it ASAP.

  13. usual internetter


  14. Aw

    Aw. That’s really sad. It would be very hard as a parent who’s struggled with addiction to see your child go through the same thing. I think his statement is accurate, and hope they can help that kid avoid going too far down a tough path.

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