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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Downey checks into drug centre
Robert Downey Jr
New beginning: Downey Jr wants a fresh start
Actor Robert Downey Jr has checked into a residential drug treatment centre following his release from prison.

The 35-year-old performer, freed after serving less than 12 months of a three-year sentence for cocaine possession, returned to Walden House in Los Angeles, where he has been treated before.

The decision was a voluntary one, described as a "self-imposed recovery programme".

Robert Downey Jr
The actor is in better shape than he was

Downey Jr's lawyer, Robert Waters, said it was a transitional living arrangement for him as he readjusted to life back on the outside.

"He plans to maintain a life of sobriety," Waters explained.

Downey Jr was freed on Wednesday after an appeal court judge took into account the 323 days he had already served in a drug rehabilitation facility.

He was jailed in August last year after violating a probation order for a 1996 cocaine possession charge by repeatedly missing mandatory drug tests.

Great shape

But since being in prison, the actor's condition improved so much he was counselling other inmates.

"He's in great shape and he has a tremendously positive outlook," Waters said.

"He's looking forward to going back to work. He's open to offers of work, and he wants to meet with people."

"He's a terrific actor and a gifted individual."

Waters added that Downey Jr has already been approached by people who want him to tell his own story in a book or a movie, but he "hasn't considered it".

The star, son of movie director Robert Downey, is best known for his role in Chaplin, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

His other films include Less Than Zero, Natural Born Killers, One Night Stand and US Marshals.

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03 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Downey Jr freed from prison
06 Aug 99 | Americas
Addicted Downey Jnr jailed
06 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Downey Jnr back in jail
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