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Robert Downey Jr. Says Son Indio’s Drug Issues Are a “Family Problem” in Vanity Fair Story

Robert Downey Jr on the cover of Vanity Fair
Robert Downey Jr. opened up about his struggles with addiction and his son Indio's similar issues in the October issue of Vanity Fair.  

Some things just run in the family. That’s Robert Downey Jr.’s philosophy when it comes to his son Indio Downey’s recent arrest for cocaine possession. In the October cover story for Vanity Fair, the Iron Man star, 49, opened up about his oldest son, whom he shares with ex-wife Deborah Falconer

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“He’s his mother’s son and my son, and he’s come up the chasm much quicker than we did,” Downey Jr. said. “But that’s typical in the Information Age; things get accelerated. Pick a dysfunction, and it’s a family problem.”

The Avengers actor famously struggled with his own substance abuse problems, checking in and out of rehab and being arrested several times throughout the late ’90s on drug-related charges. During a case in 1999, the Oscar nominee told the court he had been addicted to drugs since age 8 after his father, a fellow addict, had frequently supplied him with drugs. 

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Reflecting on his time in rehab and prison, the former TV star said, “Job one is get out of that cave. 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. Or whatever. But I don’t even know if that was my experience. It’s funny: Five years ago, I would’ve made it sound like I’m conscious of my own participation in seizing the similarities. But so many things have become less certain. I swear to God. I am not my story.”

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Now one of Hollywood’s biggest comeback stories ever, Downey credits his 10-plus years of sobriety to his wife, film producer Susan Downey

“For some folks it’s just a function of age,” he told Vanity Fair. “It’s perfectly normal for people to be obsessive about something for a period of time, then leave it alone.”

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With Susan pregnant with the couple’s second child, the Marvel star says he is “really looking forward” to welcoming another child (he and Susan are already parents to son Exton Elias Downey, 2). And he’s also prepared. Nestled in the middle of his extensive car collection, which includes a Porsche, Corvette, and Ford F-150, is his latest purchase — a Honda Odyssey. 

“If I’m gonna have two of ‘em in car seats, then I gotta be ready,” he said.

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