Robert Downey Jr. has been sober for more than a decade, but the ghosts of his past struggle with addiction continue to haunt him. The actor stormed out of an interview earlier this week over questions about his dark years, and RadarOnline.com can reveal the secret reason why.
The respected actor with UK Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy when the journalist asked him about his prison stint because of a drug conviction.
Guru-Murthy asked, "I wondered whether you think you are free of all that (drugs and alcohol) or whether that is still something.."
Downey, stunned and puzzled responded, "I'm sorry, what is that, what are we doing..." and left.
Is he ok? And still sober? A close friend of the actor, reached out to Radar to explain the meltdown.
"Bob was there to promote a movie, period,” the source said. "He has nothing to hide about his past. Everyone knows about Bob's drug and alcohol addiction. What was the point of bringing it up during a press junket for The Avengers?"
"Here is the thing about Bob,” the source continued, "he is so active in the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous community in Malibu where he lives. From attending meetings, being an active sponsor to several people, and buying cakes for members' sobriety milestones, Bob is living the program everyday. It's something intensely personal and private for Bob, and he doesn't do it for the press."
"Being caught off guard by a reporter hoping to make some headlines off Bob's past is sick. He handled himself with true class. Perhaps if the reporter hadn't brought it up during the junket, but approached Bob after about wanting to discuss it in the future, he probably would have."
Downey Jr.'s downward spiral played out in the public eye for years, through arrests and rehab stints before he finally landed in state prison in 1999, where he spent a year behind bars. He was arrested twice more, but sobered up for good in 2001 and has since remarried and had son and a daughter.
The talented star then staged one of the most remarkable career turnarounds in Hollywood history, making this recent hiccup especially unusual.
Backlash to the incident was swift, with Piers Morgan chiding the actor for walking out of the interview. he said in a column for the Daily Mail, "Ironman wouldn't run away from an interview. Mr. Downey Jr., man up and stop being such a pampered, overly-sensitive prima donna."
The source adds, "There is no controversy, it's just noise to Bob. He just continues to live the steps of the program, and focus on his . Unfortunately in this world, there will always be others trying to tear someone down."