Son of Robert Downey Jr. pleads guilty in cocaine case, sentenced to drug diversion program



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LOS ANGELES — The son of Robert Downey Jr. pleaded guilty on Friday to cocaine possession and was sentenced to a drug diversion program that could result in his conviction being dismissed.

As the actor watched in the courtroom, Indio Downey, 21, thanked Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz for allowing him to enter the program and pledged to take the advice of the judge to heed the lessons of treatment and get advice from his father if necessary.

"I appreciate this opportunity and I intend to make the most of it," Indio Downey told the judge.

Robert Downey listened intently to the proceedings and nodded his head when Schwartz urged the actor's son to be careful about choosing friends. The Oscar-nominated actor did not speak during the hearing.

Indio Downey's attorney Blair Berk said her client had already spent 70 days in a residential rehab program and intended to complete another 20 days. He will not be required to appear in court again as long as he complies with the rules of the drug diversion program, and his conviction will be dismissed in 18 months if he stays out of trouble.

Indio Downey was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession during a traffic stop in June in West Hollywood. He was a passenger in the car, and no one else was arrested.

"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," Robert Downey said after his son's arrest.

Robert Downey's drug use sent him to prison and rehab and cost him acting roles. He is now one of the industry's most bankable stars after appearing in Marvel's "Iron Man" trilogy and "The Avengers."

Schwartz cited Robert Downey's onscreen role as a superhero and told Indio Downey that he should look up to his father and seek his counsel while he deals with addiction throughout his lifetime.

The judge also presented Indio Downey with an orange bracelet that reads, "Stay Clean and Sober," which the younger Downey wore on his right wrist as he left the courthouse.

The father and son appeared together in the 2005 movie "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."


Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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