General News

Trial Certain for Downey Jr.?

By:
Mar 19, 2001 | 11:51am EST

Robert Downey Jr. can't talk his way out of this one.

Lawyers for the troubled actor were unable to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors on the drug possession charges that stem from the actor's arrest last November in a Palm Springs hotel room, where police allegedly found cocaine and the prescription drug Valium.

The arrest came three months after Downey's release from prison, where he spent a year on drug charges. Downey now faces a trial and could go to jail for almost five years if convicted.

Outside the court on Thursday, Downey's lawyer Daniel Brookman told Reuters that prosecutors "have made an offer that does call for some sort of restraint on Mr. Downey's freedom."

Brookman complained to Reuters that Downey was arrested on an anonymous tip, which he described as "the lowest form of information you can get," and said that he believed prosecutors should track down the unidentified caller. But Deputy District Attorney Tammy Capone stated that the caller's identity did not hold any relevance; the evidence they had against Downey would suffice. "It's not illegal to call 911," she said. "We're not chasing after Mr. Downey because there's no evidence."

Superior Court Judge B.J. Bjork has set a preliminary hearing for April 30 at which the actor must appear. Downey was absent from Thursday's hearing.

Nominated for an Oscar for his work in the 1992 drama, Chaplin, Downey has recently received many accolades for his comedic turn on the hit Fox show, Ally McBeal, where he plays star Calista Flockhart's love interest. He's won a Golden Globe and most recently a Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor in a television series.

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