- Sarah Jessica Parker said she was a “steady heartbeat” for Robert Downey Jr. through his addiction.
- The pair dated from the mid-1980s to 1991.
- Downey Jr. has been sober since he served a year in prison. He was sentenced in 1999.
Sarah Jessica Parker gave rare commentary on her personal life to The New Yorker, telling reporter Rachel Syme that she often felt like she was parenting her ex Robert Downey Jr. through his addiction issues when she was in a relationship with him in her early 20s.
“People around him would be dismissive of me, but I had given him stability and tried to create a steady heartbeat that allowed him to show up on time,” she said of her ex, whom she met while working on the 1984 teen thriller “Firstborn.”
The couple broke up in 1991, and Downey Jr. struggled with substance abuse throughout much of their relationship.
The “Sex and the City” star said the people around Downey Jr. who paid little attention to the role she played in his life “made me angry and embarrassed me.” A representative for Downey Jr. told The New Yorker he has “great respect” for Parker.
The “Iron Man” star’s addiction began making headlines in the late ’90s, when he was arrested on multiple drug-related charges. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 1999 and reportedly pled with the judge to send him to rehab instead.
“It’s like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I’ve got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal,” he said in court, according to the Daily Mail.
He ultimately served a year in prison. On an episode of “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard,” he likened the experience to “being sent to a distant planet where there is no way home until the planets align.”
The actor has been sober since his time in prison and told Vanity Fair in 2014 that the hardest part of getting into recovery from addiction was getting out of the “cave” that addiction puts people in.
“A lot of people do get out but don’t change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal,” he said.
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