Mark Wahlberg Seeks Pardon in 1988 Boston Assault Case: “I Am Not the Same Person”

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg is seeking a pardon from Massachusetts state officials for the assaults he committed at age 16 in 1988  Rob Kim/Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg wants a clean slate. More than two decades after he was convicted of assault in Boston, the movie star is seeking a pardon from state officials, New England Cable News reported on Thursday, Dec. 4.

According to NECN, the 43-year-old father of four filed an application with the Massachusetts Board of Pardons on Nov. 26, asking to have his conviction erased from the record. In it, he addresses the now-infamous incident from April 8, 1988, when, at age 16, he beat a man with a wooden stick after attempting to steal two cases of alcohol outside a convenience store. He hit another man in the face while trying to flee.

"I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims," Wahlberg wrote in his pardon application (via NECN). "Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others."

The Ted actor went on to list examples of his good deeds, citing his involvement in the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, among other things. 

"I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past," he said. "To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed."

Wahlberg was previously sentenced to two years in prison for his crime, but served just 45 days before being released. Afterward, he followed in the footsteps of big brother Donnie Wahlberg (of New Kids on the Block fame) and joined the music business, rapping under the name Marky Mark. He also famously modeled underwear for Calvin Klein in the 1990s, later breaking into movies with films including Renaissance Man and The Basketball Diaries

"Receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988," he explained. "It would be a formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works."

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