Robert Downey Jr.’s son Indio Downey, 20, arrested for cocaine possession

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Back when Robert Downey Jr. was a mess – also known as the 1980s, 1990s and the first few years of the 2000s – he fathered a son, Indio, who has mostly been raised by Robert’s ex-wife Deborah Falconer. When RDJ got cleaned up and after he married Susan, I think he made Indio a much bigger priority in his life, and for the past ten years, Indio has gotten to spend a lot of time with his dad. Indio is now 20 years old. And he just got arrested for cocaine possession.

Robert Downey Jr.’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon … law enforcement sources tell TMZ. We’re told Indio Downey was a passenger in a car at around 2 PM PT when cops drove up alongside the vehicle and noticed the passenger was smoking something out of a pipe.

An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over, did a search and allegedly found cocaine in Indio’s possession. He was arrested and taken to jail for possession of cocaine.

20-year-old Indio — who appeared in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang — posted his $10K bail and was released just after midnight Sunday. Robert Downey Jr. famously struggled with drug addiction and ended up in prison.

[From TMZ]

When I was looking up some research for this story, I found this report from the Enquirer via The Daily Mail, which claimed that Indio had a pill problem last year and he went into treatment for it. I don’t know if that’s true. But it would seem like Indio might have a genetic tendency towards addiction, given his dad’s struggles. I hope RDJ is paying attention and here’s hoping that this arrest is some kind of wake-up call.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.

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74 Responses to “Robert Downey Jr.’s son Indio Downey, 20, arrested for cocaine possession”

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  1. ToodySezHey says:

    That’s bad juju….

    • kri says:

      Oh, man. That sucks. I hope his dad gets him into a very long rehab program as soon as possible.

      • Original Tessa says:

        Wouldn’t his dad recognize the signs? Wouldn’t he notice that his own kid was on cocaine, being a former addict himself?

        The people closest to me, I can tell when they’ve had a Benadryl.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        “The people closest to me, I can tell when they’ve had a Benadryl.”

        Love this!!!

        A doctor once put me on a headache medication that had a risk of depression. I asked “but how do I know if I’m having a problem from the medicine?” He said, “The people around you will tell you.”

      • embertine says:

        I have always been really puzzled about Americans referring to Benedryl as loopy-juice, as it definitely doesn’t have that effect on me or anyone I know. So I looked it up – it’s a totally different drug here in the UK! Thanks for prompting me to Wiki something that has puzzled me for years.

        TEAM ACRIVASTINE!

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        “Smoking cocaine”

        It was CRACK. Someone who smokes cocaine is a crack addict. My SIL is a recovering crack addict. It’s a dirty drug on par with heroin.

      • lunchcoma says:

        OriginalTessa: I think it’s possible that his father did recognize that there was something wrong, but didn’t have the power to do anything about it. Indio is an adult. Unless he’s arrested or a danger to himself or others, the most RDJ could do is apply emotional pressure and (depending on the terms of his divorce) cut off financial support.

  2. Erinn says:

    That second photo of him – he’s a good looking kid!

    It must be a terrible time for the family – and I’d imagine that RDJ feels pretty crummy about the kid being caught with the same kind of problems he had.

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I hope he gets some help. It sounds like he’s in a lot of trouble.

  4. Frida_K says:

    Uh-oh. I hope that RDJ and Deborah Falconer come down hard on this. If he has a big allowance and lots of freedom, maybe it’s time to curtail some of the perqs that go along with being a wealthy, famous star’s kid.

    I hope he learns quickly and doesn’t have to go through what his father did, or worse.

    :(

  5. GMarchetti says:

    Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

    I hope he didn’t get the drugs from his dad.

    • TX Laney says:

      “I hope he didn’t get the drugs from his dad”

      Is this a serious question? Are you kidding me?

      • GMarchetti says:

        Yes, it’s a serious question. I don’t live in their house, so I don’t know. Do you?

    • mercy says:

      Who knows what he saw during his most formative years. :( Given that and his likely genetic predisposition, I would have made every effort to raise him as far away from that environment as possible. Maybe they did and it happened anyway. So sad.

  6. Original Tessa says:

    Oh no…

  7. vilebody says:

    He could seriously be the long lost twin of Zosia Mamet. Random, but it’s all I can see. I hope he gets well soon.

  8. Lilacflowers says:

    Sad news

  9. aenflex says:

    When I was in my late teens and early 20′s, I occasionally did coke, regularly smoked grass. Never became addicted to any of it. Could’ve been busted a number of times but luck was on my side, seemingly. Just because he got caught with it does not mean he’s an addict and needs a long rehab stint.
    I hope this kid is just in his experimental phase.

    • Original Tessa says:

      It’s scary because his father had such horrible addiction. I truly think that tendency can be genetic.

      • fairy godmother says:

        I think genetics predisposes one to this; however, one should consider the environment he lives in (Hollyweird) and the culture he is surrounded by not to mention the vast wealth he has access to.

        I would have thought all RDJ went through he would have kept his children far more removed from where they live. It is very sad- only 20 years old. I hope his dad can be a strong influence in straightening his son out.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, it seems lots of kids do a lot of drugs and are generally ok but his dad should be a big red flag. He clearly isn’t taking his dad’s experience as a cautionary tale and steering clear of drugs, which is too bad. And I hope if he is in trouble he gets help and soon.

      • Sunny says:

        I totally agree. I admit that myself as well as several of my friends experimented with drugs throughout university and into graduate school before growing out of that phase.

        But addition has a strong genetic component and that is what is worrying about this incident. I hope he gets professional help now and that his father talks with him about how dangerous, destructive and consuming his own struggle with addition has been. Also, I think Robert should share with him about how his own addition impacted his ability to be a father. I cannot think he spent a lot of time with Indio in his early years and that would likely be due to his addition.

    • Brittney B says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m trivializing drug use, because cocaine can ruin lives, but if a cop had searched 20-year-old me, there’s a 50/50 chance I would’ve had at least one illegal drug on me. I still smoke weed for anxiety and nausea, but I haven’t touched anything else in years.

      What worries me is the fact that he was apparently smoking something in the middle of the afternoon, in a moving car. I *know* it’s my white privilege that prevented me from being randomly searched, but it was also the fact that I wasn’t waving drugs around in the middle of the day. That’s just plain stupid, but it’s also sketchy behavior, and it could be a sign of something more serious.

      • Tippy says:

        Undercover cops probably observed him purchasing the dope in some Hollywood neighborhood that was under surveillance.

        People that buy drugs on the street often purchase a small amount in order to sample the quality almost immediately, before deciding to purchase a larger quantity from the same seller.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Right, most people go through a phase, but the article said he already had to get treatment for a pill problem last year, so if that’s true, it sounds more serious. And having a parent with an addiction makes you more vulnerable to addiction yourself, both physically, for obvious reasons, and emotionally, because you learn certain behaviors by watching your parents cope with life by self-medicating.

    • Tippy says:

      It sounds as if the son was smoking crack when the deputy stopped the vehicle.

      If he’s already spent time in rehab for “pills” then he’s probably already past the experimenting stage.

      RDJ had to hit absolute rock bottom before he genuinely wanted to remain clean.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes about RDJ, he went to jail before he became clean, didn’t he? It sounds like his son is on that same road if someone doesn’t intervene soon. So scary.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t know if he was smoking crack. He also could have been smoking pot. If he was smoking crack, he would have been busted for possession of crack.

        “Medicinal” pot is legal in CA, but it still has a lot of restrictions. You can’t smoke it in public…but a lot of people act like that isn’t the case. Especially in West Hollywood, where there is a more “free” kind of vibe to the neighborhood, I would guess that he was smoking pot.

  10. Talie says:

    Oh, so sad. Sometimes we think kids with everything will know better and recognize their advantages, but they’re just as self-destructive.

    • WendyNerd says:

      Seriously? I don’t: unlimited wealth + tons of freedom tends to breed the worst sorts of excesses. It’s not that they’re not going to do drugs. They’re just going to do the most expensive drugs. Why do you think child stars end up going so insane?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      A lot of the kids I know “with everything” are smart, but just as many are entitled little know it alls who think everything should be handed to them on a plate since it always has been, and the rules don’t apply to them. It depends on the parents and the personality of the kid, I think. I see some really good parenting, and the kids still go through a complete jerk phase, some charming kids with jerks for parents, and a lot of well meaning parents who spoil their kids rotten and are then shocked to find they have spoiled rotten kids.

  11. serena says:

    Knowing his father’s history, why would he do the same? I really hope RDJ will beat some sense in him.

  12. sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

    Hoping RDJ will help him, since he can fully understand what the kid’s going through…

  13. Kim says:

    Wasn’t RD Sr also an addict?

  14. WendyNerd says:

    It’s so creepy to me to think that someone younger than I am can be arrested for coke possession. It’s chilling, because I’m practically a fetus.

    • Original Tessa says:

      If you’re older than 20, you’re not practically a fetus. You’re a grown up.

      • WendyNerd says:

        It’s a joke guys. I know I’m an adult. But I’m also still a very, very young one. My point is that this kid isn’t even old enough to drink legally and he is getting busted for coke. For me, 20 should be at the very worst the “getting busted for weed” years.

        Hard narcotics that your father has a long and storied history with? Not so much.

        It’s scary to me, is my point, because in my lifetime I’ve never so much as SEEN cocaine up close. Twenty for me was going to school and work time with some drinking on weekends. Then again I already had serious health problems at the time. So that probably slowed me down.

    • original kay says:

      uh, yeah.

      what Tessa said.

    • s. says:

      in many ways, 20 is so very young. it depends on the individual, of course. but the human brain is its adolescent stage til about 25 years old.

  15. LAK says:

    Wasn’t RDJ’s dad an addict too? If Indio becomes an addict, it’ll be both family tradition and a genetic predisposition to addiction. He’s an idiot to try any drugs considering his father and grandfather’s addictions.

    • Brittney B says:

      There’s actually a ton of scientific research on this, and there’s no “addictive personality” or genetic trait associated with drug use. It’s a combination of environmental and psychological factors that leads family members down the same path, but that can be just as toxic.

      …which isn’t to say he shouldn’t tread carefully. If only to show the buck stops here, and he won’t be repeating such a twisted history. I’m willing to bet RDJ is on this, though. He almost lost his life several times, and Indio might be too young to remember that, but he should still know better.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I saw a thing in one of my psych classes in college, and they had shown how brain waves of alcoholics tended to be faster. When they introduce a depressant like alcohol, the brain waves slow down and run more like a “normal” person’s brain waves. They suggested that there was no genetic predetermination that made someone an alcoholic, rather, that people with faster brainwaves were more likely to repeatedly use depressants as a way to slow it down and that the brainwave speed WAS genetic.

        I haven’t followed up on that theory for a while, though.

    • NYC_girl says:

      I agree with Brittney; from my own experience (people I have known), I believe it’s learned behavior. I started working with hoarders and get referrals from therapists to help them clean out their homes and get organized. Nothing like the tv shows, but they have underlying issues like OCD or manic depression. What has been really interesting to see is how the children hoard too – it’s learned behavior. I know drugs and hoarding are different things, but what a young person sees going on around him/her has a profound effect.

    • minime says:

      @Brittney B
      There is a ton of scientific research linking genetics and drug addiction phenotypes.
      It is obviously in the end a mix of biopsychosocial components, but each part has a role in developing an addiction (as in many others psychological disorders).
      With that said, he is at a higher risk than someone who did not have it in the family. Still, doesn’t mean it will definitely develop into an addiction, but it is certainly something that should be taken seriously.

  16. Sayrah says:

    Very sad

  17. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    In the middle photo he looks like Lena Dunham.

  18. InvaderTak says:

    So sad. Hope this is a one time thing and not an ongoing problem. hope RDJ steps up and does something about it.

  19. Tom says:

    Both RDJ and Deborah Falconer are well known junkies. Kid had no chance. Hopefully Susan keeps Exton away from that side of the family.

    • paulie says:

      hey man there’s no need to write the kid off so fast. he’s only 20, he can get better.

  20. Mandy says:

    Uh oh. That sucks. Hopefully he doesn’t go down the same path as his dad.

  21. Jayna says:

    When his age, many experiment with some form of drugs in one fashion or another and it’s social and move on from it. With his family history, though, his chances of becoming addicted are magnified. Sadly, at his son’s age, you want to party and think you are invincible.

    Of course, RDJ was surrounded by drugs his whole life. By the age of six, his drug addict dad allowed him to smoke pot with him, and even doing cocaine with his father as time went on, etc. He said it was their bonding time, the way his dad knew to show love. RDJ never stood a chance. It’s a wonder he is still alive, much less clean.

    • Dawn says:

      Yep…totally agree. I hope he gets some help before it really gets out of control. Coke just makes people crazy. Good luck to him.

  22. Penelope says:

    He doesn’t look like a happy young man in any of those pictures. Good luck to him; this could be a wake-up call.

    • JustChristy says:

      I thought that, too. He has a lot of sadness in his eyes. My heart hurts for him and his family. 20 is just too young to have that vibe about you. Hope he gets help.

  23. My family tends rather heavily toward addiction. Booze, coke, pills ect. My mother even spent quality time in my very young years married to a heroin addict. While I did my own share of experimenting over my teens and 20′s there were a few things I never…ever…would touch with a ten foot pole. Coke and heroin for one. The reason? Cause I had seen first hand how scary people addicted to that shit can be and never, ever wanted to get to that point myself. Which is why I think a good share of ‘affluenza’ may be behind this whole mess; who here couldn’t reasonably accept that after spending most of Indio’s childhood a fucking mess that RDJ might have been a bit more permissive/spoiling than he otherwise would have been. Especially given his own history with his father. Either way sounded to me like they were smoking crack which is never for beginners…most people don’t ‘experiment’ with smoking crack. Unless they’re Rob Ford.

  24. Ctkat1 says:

    On the one hand, drug experimentation in one’s early 20s isn’t uncommon- I smoked a lot of weed and did a fair amount of ecstasy while out dancing in clubs at his exact age. On the other hand, drugs after rehab is pretty serious, and so if that part is true I hope he’s willing to get help. While addiction isn’t hereditary, it’s clear RDJ learned the behavior from his father, and Indio spent his early childhood being hurt by an unreliable father- however good their relationship might be now, it was probably really hard when he was a kid, both being around RDJ when he was using and not being with him for long periods. Not to say that’s the reason he’s using drugs now, but like his father he was affected and exposed to them from an early age.

  25. aquarius64 says:

    RDJ wrapped up his part in filming the second Avengers movie a week ago. I’m wondering if it’s due to film schedule or what’s going on with his son. I hope Marvel lets RDJ stand down in promotions to help him (all Avengers are expected to assemble at San Diego Comic Con this July) especially given his own history.

  26. alihar says:

    This makes me so sad. Hopefully the hold won’t be as strong as it was with his dad.

  27. ava says:

    So sad – I think one of the biggest problems is the lifestyle. Sting was saying he was going to have all of his children get jobs/educations and not depend on his money. When you grow up in Hollywood and can have anything it would be hard not to fall into the lifestyle. I hope he gets him help…Sometimes the kids of stars turn out the worst.

  28. NAS says:

    What i am wondering…is cocaine smoked in a pipe or is it crack that is pipe smoked? Wow with how the incident iis being portrayed especially if it really was crack. Others would have been blatantly blasted as “smoking crack” since a pipe was involved. Just saying

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Pot can also be smoked in a pipe.
      He would have been busted for crack possession if that was in the pipe. If he was smoking pot and had a prescription for it, he wouldn’t have been busted for possession of pot. The fact that cocaine was all that he was found in possession of, and that wasn’t found until they searched him (i.e. not in the pipe), I am thinking he was smoking pot.

  29. Lisa says:

    DListed has a statement RDJr. issued, and some further info on Indio’s previous stint in rehab, for those who are interested.

  30. Word Girl says:

    RDJ did say that his father introduced him to drugs when he was young. RDJ said that one of the purposes he and his father used the substances for bonding purposes. He also said that the drugs reminded him of the intimate moments with his father. Kids look up to their parents a lot. I’m pretty sure Indio was exposed in some way to his father’s drug abuse. I hope Downey takes this issue seriously and stages a proper intervention for his son. I’m pretty sure Indio’s mother is torn over this mess because she has tried her best to shield her son from this sort of thing.

  31. aquarius64 says:

    The Internet is blowing up with this news; and unfortunately, father AND son are getting dragged on some sites over this. “The apple does fall far from the tree” is a common comment, and written with disdain. Slightly OT – Beyonce’ and Jay – Z’s On The Run Tour has a segment in the show where celebrity mug shots were shown as part of the set piece. One was RDJ’s during his many forays in the US criminal justice system. (Jay – Z’s was shown too.) No matter what the theme is, using celeb mugshots are not cool especially when you had legal issues yourself. Not every celeb may be ok with his/her past being brought up this way.

  32. Marianne says:

    I guess the apple desn’t fall too far from the tree.

    Hopefully, he gets some help. I also hope RDJ is really there for him, considering he’s been through it and all. The kid needs some guidance.

  33. Liz says:

    Addicts like to use the “genetic” card when in reality it ha to do with the environment they were exposed to, lack of good parenting, and not taught good coping mechanics. All 3 of those placed his son at risk. Also, people don’t usually become addicted their first time using or drinking. They have plenty of time to make different choices but they have a “I don’t give a shit” attitude. The genetic card is used by those who don’t want to take responsibility for their choices.

  34. Chris says:

    This kid looks miserable, just like a lot of rich kids do. They needs them some Jesus in they lives.

    :)