Life after love. Robert Downey Jr. and Sarah Jessica Parker were hot and heavy in the 1980s, but split up in 1991 after seven years together. While the actor has admitted that his struggles with addiction played a part in their breakup, he told Howard Stern on Tuesday, April 28, that they recently had a friendly reunion.
The SiriusXM radio host, 61, asked Downey Jr., 50, about the state of his relationship with Parker after he previously voiced plans to reach out to the Sex and the City star, also 50.
“You know how life goes and so many things happen, particularly when you’re looking at the back nine and you’re not a kid anymore,” the Iron Man actor began. “You go, ‘You know, this trip to New York, as opposed to just doing what’s required of me, I actually want to take care of some personal business. I wanna check in with someone I shared a big part of my life with and say hi.'”
While visiting the Big Apple, Downey Jr. caught up with the Emmy winner, who was happy to meet up with her ex-boyfriend to talk. The actor took responsibility for the breakup in an interview with Parade in 2008, telling the mag, “I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn’t jibe with Sarah Jessica, because it is the furthest thing from what she is. She provided me a home and understanding. She tried to help me. She was so miffed when I didn’t get my act together.”
Both stars famously found love after they parted ways. Parker married Matthew Broderick in 1997, and the couple welcomed three children: son James, 12, and twins Marion and Tabitha, 5. Downey Jr. was able to get sober in the early 2000s after completing a stint in jail, and was married twice after Parker: first to actress and musician Deborah Falconer, from whom he split in the early 2000s, and next to current wife Susan Downey, whom he wed in 2005. He has three children from the two marriages: son Indio, 21, son Exton, 3, and daughter Avri, 5 months.
“Private stuff aside, we were able to spend some time together and it was really cool,” he continued in his chat with Stern. “I went over to her place and then we went down the street… some tapas place on the corner with a friend of hers, after. You know, the funny thing too, is you always have a perception of somebody that you spent a big chunk of your life with and I think it’s typical to the human thing that the further you get away from that in your new relationship, you [unintentionally] taint your perception of the person.”
“Seeing her, I was like, ‘She’s so great and so cool and so funny and so in-command,'” he added of his former flame. “I got to meet her kids and I saw the way she and Matthew lived and I respect both of them so much…. You have fresh eyes and you’re actually willing to go to a deeper level of acceptance and kind of just make peace with the way life is. Anytime I was in a relationship, I thought, ‘You’re gonna bury me next to this woman.’ It’s not that simple and God has other plans.”
Downey Jr., who said he was “absolutely” in love with the stunning actress, added that the two are in a good place now.
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“I said everything I wanted to say,” he explained. “It’s a little bit stilted but then there’s this familiarity that overtakes it and you realize you’re just in the presence of this fully mature mother and woman and artist and human being. There’s enough good will left over, you didn’t burn that bridge.”
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