Downey Jr. arrested for drug possession

Troubled 'Ally' thesp's future uncertain

HOLLYWOOD — Actor Robert Downey Jr. was arrested for drug possession and probation violation nearly three months after gaining an early release from prison, police in Palm Springs said Sunday.

The 35-year-old actor, who has a recurring role on Fox TV’s “Ally McBeal,” was released Sunday around 6:30 a.m. on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court within 30 days.

Though execs at 20th Century Fox declined comment on Sunday, Downey was scheduled for one or two more appearances on “Ally.” The future of those episodes is now uncertain.

Also in doubt is Downey’s participation in “America’s Sweethearts,” a feature film that was to begin lensing for Revolution Studios in spring. Downey was also scheduled to star this spring in a Los Angeles stage run of “Hamlet,” to be directed by Mel Gibson.

According to a Palm Springs Police Dept. statement, officers responded to an anonymous 911 call at around 9 p.m. on Saturday, indicating there were drugs and guns in a hotel room at the Merv Griffin Resort. They found Downey alone in the room with cocaine and methamphetamine and made the arrest without incident. Downey was arrested for drug possession, being under the influence of a controlled substance and committing a felony while free on bail.

Following a series of arrests in 1996, Downey was most recently jailed in August 1999 after admitting during a probation hearing that he had missed scheduled drug tests. A Superior Court judge sentenced him to three years in prison for violating probation.

Downey was released from prison in August on $5,000 bail after the California 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that he had served enough time to fulfill his three-year sentence. The panel determined he was entitled to receive credit for time served in drug rehabilitation facilities.

Downey earned an Oscar nomination for his work in the title role in “Chaplin,” the 1992 screen biography of the famed comedian. Other film credits include “Less Than Zero,” “Natural Born Killers,” “One Night Stand,” “Two Girls and a Guy” and “U.S. Marshals.”

(Michael Schneider in Los Angeles, Michael Fleming in New York and Reuters contributed to this report.)