“Iron Man” actor Robert Downey, Jr. is going to start off 2016 with a clean slate. California Gov. Jerry Brown granted Downey a gift on Christmas Eve when he pardoned the actor’s drug convictions from the 1990s, the Los Angeles Times wrote on Thursday. Though Downey spent time behind bars for his offenses, his criminal record is now effectively expunged.
It wasn’t just Downey, 50, who got lucky. There were 90 others who were granted clemency for past crimes -- it’s a Christmas Eve tradition in the state of California. Last year, 105 clemencies were granted.
But the pardon didn’t just come out of the blue. Downey petitioned for his record to be scrubbed of his drug convictions, TMZ reported. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge approved the request October and forwarded it to Gov. Brown. Downey’s rights have been restored, including his right to vote.
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) December 24, 2015
The actor has lived an “honest and upright life" since his convictions and showed "good moral character," the governor said in the pardon. The document continues: "... by completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community of his residence since his release, Robert John Downey, Jr. has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon." It added that pardons are granted only if they are earned.
The star was sent to prison in 1996 after authorities found heroin, cocaine and a pistol in his vehicle, Variety added. Downey went back to prison in 1999 after he violated his parole.
Neither Downey nor his rep has responded to the good news in an official statement.
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