In 1997, Downey Jr was given a 180-day jail sentence in LA for violating probation, but was caught fighting with another inmate.
Amid reports he was being targeted by other prisoners, he twice woke up from attacks in a pool of his own blood.
And Downey Jr, who has twice starred as Sherlock Holmes, admits he is now considered not so much an actor but a ‘strategic cost’ to the big money corporations who employ him — and rake in billions from his films.
The extraordinary thing is that, not so long ago, Downey Jr was a poster boy for wasted talent.
Kelley’s Emmy-winning legal comedy drama, Ally Mc Beal.
Within four years, he had dropped out and returned to Manhattan to study acting.
It was the final straw for his wife Deborah, who left him, taking Indio with her, and filed for divorce. taxman came after him and he was left close to bankruptcy.
Where once he had earned up to £5 million a year, he was now deemed untouchable. His road to redemption began in 2003 when Mel Gibson cast him in the lead role of the film version of Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective.
Gibson, who was the film’s producer, even had to personally underwrite Downey Jr’s liability insurance because he was deemed too much of a risk.
That same year, Downey Jr met his current wife, producer Susan Levin, on the set of ghost story Gothika. Before agreeing to go through with their marriage in August 2005, she insisted that he must finish with drugs for good.