“It was an idiot move on our parts to share that with our children,” the late filmmaker said of his son who became an addict at just 8 years old
Robert Downey Jr‘s introduction to drugs happened earlier than his late father Robert Downey Sr. is proud of.
In the father and son’s new Netflix documentary titled, “Sr.,” the late filmmaker confessed he first introduced his son to drugs when he was only six years old.
Downey Sr. recalled playing poker in their home when he caught the “Ironman” star taking a sip of white wine. Instead of reprimanding his son, the “Boogie Night” actor offered him a joint in its place.
“A lot of us thought it would be hypocritical to not have our kids participate in marijuana and stuff like that. It was an idiot move on our parts to share that with our children. I’m just happy he’s here,” he confessed during an interview in the film.
The Marvel “Avengers” alum reflected on the defining moment in his childhood and the effects the experience had on his relationship with recreational drugs. By eight years old, Downey Jr. was already an addict.
“I think we would be remiss not to discuss its effect on me,” he said, he would later find himself in-and-out of jail during his battle with addiction. “Boy, I would sure love to miss that discussion.”
Downey Sr. died at age 85 after losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease back in July 2021.
This isn’t the first time the “Putney Swope” director opened up about his son’s introduction to marijuana; he previously recalled specific details surrounding the incident to Vanity Fair in 2000.
“We were all sitting around, smoking grass and playing poker down in the old West Village loft, and Robert was staring at me kind of funny. Robert was always an observer of it all, even at a very young age,” he explained. “And I go, ‘You know, you ought to try a little of this instead of drinking.'”
“I passed him a joint. And suddenly I knew I had made a terrible, stupid mistake…Giving a little kid a toke of grass just to be funny,” Downey Sr. lamented.
“The story keeps getting repeated,” he said at the time. “By now you’d think Robert was Jimmy Cliff’s dealer at age eight. I’ll never forgive myself, but Robert and I have dealt with it, and he’s said to me, ‘I’m not a victim, Dad. I don’t blame anybody.'”
“Sr.” is now available to stream on Netflix.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-4357) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.