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Friday, 16 November, 2001, 08:36 GMT
Downey Jr vows to beat drugs
Robert Downey Jr
Downy Jr was a hit in Ally McBeal with Calista Flockhart
Actor Robert Downey Jr has described his wholehearted bid to beat his addiction to drugs to a judge in California.

The star, who was once Oscar-nominated for Chaplin, also said that he was determined to return to the big screen one day.

Downey Jr was appearing at a court hearing on Thursday to evaluate his progress since he was placed on probation in July for drug offences.

Superior Court Judge Randall White said it appeared Downey was doing well and set another progress hearing for next March.


Furthering my endeavour in recovery is really my priority for right now

Robert Downey Jr

Downey Jr told the judge: "Furthering my endeavour in recovery is really my priority for right now."

Downey Jr said he had been spending time with his son and his family.

"I've been able to re-establish contact with my family. That's the only privilege I consider myself really to have at this point."

The actor's attorney said Downey Jr would continue treatment at the Wavelengths International rehabilitation centre in Malibu for another four months and possibly a year.

Arrest

Downey Jr was sentenced to a year at a live-in rehabilitation centre and three years of probation in July following his arrest on drug charges in Palm Springs in November.

He was also ordered to pay a series of fines and was ordered to comply with a set of regulations including random drug testing.

Robert Downey Jr
Downey Jr following his April arrest

Downey Jr was arrested at an hotel in Palm Springs in November last year, three months after his release from a year-long jail term.

Downey Jr has been in a residential drug treatment programme since a second arrest - without charge - in April in Los Angeles.

Police arrested the star in a back alley on suspicion of drug use while on parole.

A urine sample later tested positive for cocaine but no prosecution was ever brought.

Career

Downey Jr's drug problems have hampered his attempts to rebuild his once promising career.

He landed a regular role on hit comedy Ally McBeal - even winning an Emmy.

But his arrest in April forced scriptwriters to rewrite the season ending.

The actor's drug problems first hit the headlines in 1996 when police found cocaine, heroin and a pistol in his vehicle after he was stopped for speeding.

A month later, he was found passed out in a neighbour's house and was hospitalised at a substance abuse treatment centre.

In August 1999 Downey Jr was sentenced to three years in prison for violating his probation by skipping scheduled drug tests, but was released a year later on bail.

See also:

31 May 01 | Showbiz
Downey Jr 'avoids prison'
24 May 01 | Showbiz
Downey Jr back in court
25 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Downey Jr's drug-hit career
15 May 01 | Showbiz
No charge for Downey Jr
27 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Ally creator 'furious' at Downey Jr
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Downey Jr signs McBeal deal
29 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Downey Jr arrest boosts ratings
18 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Downey Jr escapes jail
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