Robert Downey Jr. cradled his wife, Susan Downey‘s, baby bump at the 25th American Cinematheque Award ceremony in Beverly Hills on Friday (October 14), which honored the Iron Man star. Also in attendance were new parents Guy Ritchie and Jacqui Ainsley, Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson.
Gibson, 55, was invited onstage to present Downey Jr., 46, with the prestigious award. Downey Jr. took his time onstage to ask Hollywood to forgive his fellow actor. “Unless you are without sin — and if you are, you are in the wrong f**king industry — you should forgive him and let him work,” Downey Jr. said.
He added: “I asked Mel to present this award for me for a reason,” the celebrated actor said. “When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith. It didn’t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in the lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. He kept a roof over my head and food on the table and most importantly he said if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoing and embraced that part of my soul that was ugly – hugging the cactus he calls it — he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough, I’d become a man.”
Downey Jr., who struggled with substance abuse in the past, costarred with Gibson in the 1990 film Air America. “He taught my many things, and I will use the ‘C’ word — courage,” Downey Jr. said. “There’s nothing so much wrong with him. Of course you have to worry about the guy making the judgment here. He’s a good dude with a good heart.”
Gibson has battled alcoholism and has been repeatedly taped making anti-Semitic comments. In March, he pled no contest for one misdemeanor count of spousal battery with his ex Oksana Grigorieva. During their custody case for their 23-month-old daughter Lucia, Gibson admitted, “I slapped Oksana with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality.”
Robert and Susan are expecting their first child together in February. The actor is already dad to 18-year-old son, Indio, from his 12-year marriage to Deborah Falconer.View Slideshow »»