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Tuesday, 12 December, 2000, 10:20 GMT
Further drugs charge for Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr
Downey Jr's arrest boosted Ally McBeal's ratings
Actor Robert Downey Jr has been formally charged with possession of drugs after being arrested last month at a hotel in Palm Springs, California.

The actor, who was released from prison earlier this year after serving 12 months for drugs offences, has been charged with possession of cocaine, Valium and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

He faces up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted on all three charges, according to assistant district attorney Sue Steding of Riverside County.

Downey Jr has recently appeared in the American TV series, Ally McBeal, and is also due to play Hamlet in a version directed by Mel Gibson.

'Tested positive'

The actor returned to the set of Ally McBeal three days after his arrest on drug charges.

The news of his arrest boosted the audience figures for one episode to the show's highest point for eight months, at more than 14 million.

Downey Jr was arrested following an anonymous call to police.

Police said a search of Downey's room uncovered up a small quantity of cocaine and some pills, and the actor "tested positive" for drug use.

He was arrested that night and released on $15,000 bail the following day.

The son of film director Robert Downey, he won an Oscar nomination for his role as Charlie Chaplin, in the 1992 screen biography of the comedian.

His other film credits include Less Than Zero, Natural Born Killers and Wonder Boys.

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See also:

29 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Downey Jr arrest boosts ratings
27 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Robert Downey Jr arrested
04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Downey checks into drug centre
03 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Downey Jr freed from prison
30 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Ally McBeal star set for West End
06 Aug 99 | Americas
Addicted Downey Jnr jailed
27 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Singapore's Ally McBeal ban
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