Robert Downey Jr. refuses to criticize Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson


Last night, Robert Downey Jr. was David Letterman’s guest, and in addition to that, RDJ had a screening of his new movie, Due Date. These photos are from the screening. Since we so rarely do fashion posts about men, and since RDJ is such a dandy, I thought we’d analyze his outfit before we get to the Letterman stuff. First of all – this is kind of an unfair photo of Susan Downey, because the girl looks over it. She’s giving a look like “THIS BITCH. I need a night off and a stiff drink.” While I can only imagine how cool and fun it is being married to RDJ, I do think it would get a bit tedious after a while. Like, “Seriously, stop. Stop talking. Or I will shoot you in the face.” Anyway, RDJ’s fancy-dandy jacket. It’s very pretty! Very few men could wear this and still look… cool. And handsome. RDJ is one of the few. Also: love his hair. This hair is one of his best styles ever.

Onto to RDJ’s Letterman interview. As you can imagine, RDJ got some questions about Charlie Sheen and his antics. RDJ continued his attempt at radio-silence regarding other people’s problems, but Letterman did get him to open up a little:

“Don’t get arrested.” That’s all the advice Robert Downey Jr. had for the troubled Charlie Sheen on the “Late Show” Monday night, pushed by host David Letterman to chime in on Sheen’s recent drug-fueled antics and problems with. Downey spent much of early adulthood in and out of jail and rehab facilities, battling substance-abuse problems and that pesky bad-boy gene. Letterman wasn’t going to let the connection go unmentioned.

“Do you know Charlie Sheen?” Letterman asked. “You guys are contemporaries, aren’t you?” The audience laughed a “we get it” laugh. “I have a feeling you guys all kind of grew up together, in the same part of L.A. Am I right about that?”

“We didn’t really hang out,” Downey said. “It sounds like we could’ve really partied.”

Letterman played to Downey’s vanity in an attempt to get him to open up, calling the now-clean actor “the shining example of how one can turn one’s life around and succeed as deserved.” Downey demurred. “He’s a grown man,” he said. “What am I gonna say?” The side of Downey’s mouth kept curling into a brief grimace. He shook his head, but it looked more like a twitch.

Letterman insisted — “Look at me!” he urged the actor to say — and finally, Downey caved.

“Here’s the problem,” he explained. “I start believing my own hype, and then I start thinking people need to listen to what I say and next thing you know my wife is miserable and the director goes, ‘He’s crazy. What is wrong with this guy?’ And as far as whatever example I can say to anybody else, I think the best thing I can do is just keep the plug in the jug myself and stay out of trouble.” He raised his eyebrows again — another quick twitch. Happy now?

[From The LAT]

I like RDJ’s stance on not really talking about other people’s problems. It would be… what’s the word? I guess “sanctimonious” would fit, but that’s not exactly what I mean. I think RDJ works as an example of a drug-addicted hot mess who got his act together, only because we’re the ones saying that about him, and he’s not putting himself out there as Mother Superior to all the little wounded birds of Hollywood.

Notably, RDJ has also refused to slam Mel Gibson over any of his junk, for much of the same reason. When asked about Mel a few days ago, RDJ only said: “I’ve known the guy for 25 years and he hired me when no one else would. So I think that’s enough said on my position. I love the guy.” Mel hired him when RDJ first got his act together for this final time – they did both Air America and The Singing Detective together. So Mel has RDJ and Jodie Foster on his side… power players, both. Ugh.



Photos courtesy of Fame & WENN.

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53 Responses to “Robert Downey Jr. refuses to criticize Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson”

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  1. hatuh says:

    I loved him, then I hated him when he turned into an A-hole, now I just love him. He looks great, he’s wearing the hell out of that jacket and I love his shoes.

  2. Samigirl says:

    …never thought I would use the word “classy” to describe RDJ, but that is exactly how he acted. I love David Letterman, but he pushes too hard. I would love for someone to turn the tables on him, talk to him about his MANY affairs with people who work on his show.

  3. jen says:

    Have always loved me some RDJ!

    Remember the Pick Up Artist? He’s adorable in that!

    And I still LOVE Air America, so sue me.

  4. mln says:

    He is a class act…eventhough I think Mel and Charlie are jerks RDJ is right to keep his mouth zipped. What a cutie pie.

  5. Lori says:

    I think he’s being pretty fair. RDJ was a total mess back in the day, so he can’t say too much about Charlie. And Mel — he gave his reason — he hired him when no one else would. It’s not like he said “oh, Mel would never be racist!”, he just explains why he is loyal.

    ETA: The jacket is fab and tailored to perfection. He’s one of the few men who could get away with it.

  6. Hautie says:


    RDJ does not want to f*ck with the Karma.

    By saying something awful or snarky about someone when they are down.

    Which is the only decent thing to do.

    And Letterman, of all people, should know about Karma. Since it bit him on his ass when he got outed for his own bad behavior with the women on his staff.

    One would think he would tread lightly about aggressive nasty behavior, when it comes to dealing with the women in your life.

    Since you know he did publicly humiliated his own wife, barely a year ago.

  7. Cel says:

    RDJ has been there and done that and cleaned up his act, but doesn’t feel the need to judge/comment on others taking a similar path.

    I like his style and his stance.

  8. Scout says:

    “Here’s the problem,” he explained. “I start believing my own hype, and then I start thinking people need to listen to what I say…”

    Wow,that is about as refreshing a statement as one could want from a celebrity! At one time, I also did not like him at all….but he has evolved, learned, grown, etc. And I respect that. I also like that he is not a hypocrite and realizes he is not the judge of others! I now adore him!

  9. Someone Else says:

    He’s like a fine wine. He just gets better & better with age. I never liked him through the 80s and 90s, but he won my heart in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”.

    Glad he’s so cool in the real world, too. I’m so happy he’s not only turned it around, but he’s made it stick.

  10. tess says:

    i love his “judge not” attitude.
    and his loyalty.
    (and a few other things too, but that’s enough for now).

    seems whenever RDJr is on DL he has a good time.

  11. Ferguson. says:

    Just, oh<3.

    I admire him so much.

  12. Jazz says:

    I love this guy, he’s a class act. I’m kind of over all the questions about Mel Gibson and Chuck on this press tour. I’m sure he’s over it too. I wish interviewers would just stick to the movie.

  13. Kitten says:

    God, he is so adorable. I love the glasses and the hair and even the crazy jacket on him..I really can’t imagine another guy pulling off that look.
    Don’t care what he has to say, he is a genius actor and has never been a hyprocrite.

  14. Green is Good says:

    RDJ really does have an excellent fashion sense. I like his clothing choices.

    Edit: I LOVE his shoes.

  15. Isaidit says:

    Yes, RDJ has grown up–finally. What I think many miss about him is his intelligence. Underneath all that falderall is one intelligent man. I’m just glad that now he has developed some empathy and compassion to go along with it. It is also nice to know that he is loyal.

  16. carrie says:

    i like loyal peoples
    OT: RDJ really has bad taste on outfits

  17. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    Love the attitude. We could all learn from this sexy comeback guy.

  18. bellaluna says:

    I think he’s being extremely diplomatic, and I adore him even more for it.

    RDJ has been a love of mine for 20 + years – I’ve stuck with him, supported him, and prayed for him. The fact that he’s unwilling to bad-mouth CS and MG just shows me how worth it he is!

    And he is totally dandy – excellent word to describe him, Kaiser.

  19. sharylmj says:

    smart, funny, sincere… he is obviously sick of these type of questions, but it’s part of his story and people will forever talk about it. He ALWAYS mentions his wife.. he loves her SO much.. another great quality 🙂

  20. Eleonor says:

    I think he’s really a classy man.

  21. Hannah says:

    Not only did Mel Gibson hire RDJ when no one else would, Gibson underwrote the insurance completion bond HIMSELF as RDJ was uninsurable.

  22. kay says:

    its not as if he had an epiphany, hes a recovering addict. i know several and ive heard them say what he just say(word for word) many times. dont believe your own hype, because the ego will take over

  23. guilty pleasures says:

    ditto kay.
    It is imperative that addicts/alcoholics keep the ego in check.
    Further to that, any program of recovery I know depends on attraction rather than promotion,as well as anonymity at the level of press, radio and television, so you will not hear a person with good sobriety saying ‘I am an alcoholic and member in good standing in AA, and So and So should join us in this remarkeable program of recovery.’
    Just know a seat is always open for anyone who wants one.
    ’nuff said, ‘cept I love RDJ, and just bought the girlie version of his shoes!

  24. Lisa says:

    Reason number 5,000 RDJ is awesome: he knows that accepting his flaws goes hand in hand with accepting those of others.

  25. justathought says:

    Letterman put RDJ on the spot and he handled it with class, but he’s a class act, so not surprised.

  26. Jaxx says:

    I admire RDJ’s refusal to throw stones now that he is no longer living in a glass house. He knows that could be him without all the support and work that has gone into his recovery and I think it is really classy that he refuses to judge others who are in trouble.

    That just shows how much he really learned when he was down there in his own hell. He refuses to judge and he refuses to preach. That, my friends, is true humility. I really love this guy.

  27. Henriette says:

    Wow. The Clean RDJ is oh-so-much better than the drugged-out RDJ; hope he manages to stay substance free. I worry for him… very much…

  28. hairball says:

    “I do think it would get a bit tedious after a while. Like, “Seriously, stop. Stop talking. Or I will shoot you in the face.” ”

    Ha ha!

    How did he humiliate his wife by the way – I hadn’t heard that?

  29. Jeri says:

    He’s an admirable man and as others have said, a real class act. Keep walking the walk RDJ.

  30. Maritza says:

    I like RDJ’s fashion sense and his humor but his wife’s leggings look awful!

  31. Twez says:

    The man is in recovery. He knows that he is only sober a day at at time himself. I’m sure if he has embraced the Twelfth Step, he also knows that publicly criticizing someone who is still using makes it very unlikely that they would approach you for help in getting sober at some point in the future.

  32. Delta Juliet says:

    Oh the naughty, naughty things I could do to him. I fell in love with him in the “Air America” days (he looked exactly like my boyfirend at the time–lucky me!)

    I love looking at him, I love listening to him, I love his attitude and personality, and I love how glowingly he speaks of his wife. So jealous!

    OK, I need to take a break now 😉

  33. Kiska says:

    It is really none of his business to comment about other people’s problems. He went through is own demons and probably knows that you don’t throw stones at glass houses.

  34. lucy2 says:

    I like his attitude and perspective on the whole thing, he answered basically the same way on the Today show this morning.
    I like that he’s not apologizing for them or trying to justify their behavior, but doesn’t feel it’s his place to speak badly of them or give them advice. I think that’s a very good approach to take.

  35. sparkle586 says:

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I just really do not understand why this overrated crackhead is the toast of Hollywood. I just do not see the “charm” and “class” that so many do.

  36. Nancy says:

    I really love this guy and he was smart not to say anything about Charlie or Mel just goes to show he has really become a class act.

  37. Meanchick says:

    Good move. He’s not going to ‘find religion’ by relegating someone else and their troubles.

  38. Madison says:

    What a classy, smart guy he turned out to be now he has his addictions under control, RDJ knows what mel and charlie are going through, and he knows you don’t kick someone when they are down.

  39. Jaxx says:

    Uh, Sparkleperson? He’s no longer a crackhead, THAT’S why he’s celebrated in Hollywood. Bet you’re not much on forgiveness are you?

  40. Sassy says:

    Love me some RDJ.

  41. dj says:

    Downey “handled” Letterman better than I have ever seen before! It was impressive and his dry wit shined through. I think I remember that RDJ was uninsurable when Mel G. wanted him in Air America and somehow paid for that. Nice for RDJ to remember and have loyalty (even though not a Mel fan).

  42. sparkle586 says:

    RDJ doesnt need and has never asked for my forgiveness. He just wants my money — which he doesn’t get not because he’s a [supposedly] recovering crackhead, but because he’s just not someone that I enjoy watching.

  43. Anti-icon says:

    OMG Are males finally taking the reigns in media town? This was a really good interview between two guys I really like. But RDJ, he always say the exact right things, at the exact right time, to the exact right person. He really deserves all his success. Charlie, well, it’s time to do PRISON time. And we all know it.

  44. Dan says:

    Letterman’s a goober. He can mock people night in and night out and gets paid well for it. RDJ still has to work with these people or at least with people connected to them. Mocking someone when they’re down makes the mocker look small. RDJ has been on the receiving end of the jokes. Good for him for not going for the cheap shot.

  45. Crash2GO2 says:

    ““Here’s the problem,” he explained. “I start believing my own hype, and then I start thinking people need to listen to what I say and next thing you know my wife is miserable and the director goes, ‘He’s crazy. What is wrong with this guy?’”

    God, it is sexy when a man knows himself this well. If only my ex had been able to have this epiphany.

  46. Kiska says:

    RDJ has an amazing intellect and most likely a very high IQ. He also knows how to respond positively to tough questions without wimping out.

  47. Willow says:

    It’s not intellect, class, wealth, charm, hotness, style, stance or age that sets RDJ apart. It’s his wisdom. That he, as a human, made healthy/unhealthy choices in life, looked at the consequences, and learned to apply better choices for himself. That is Wisdom. Sounds simple, but how the hell do you teach that to someone else? You can talk it to them, you can’t live it for them, you can only offer support while upholding their dignity as a human. (probably why he will remain grateful to M.G.)
    I know we all sit and judge — have fun with it daily. For today, I’m not going to put RDJ on a pedestal…instead, I’m going to say a great big “thank you” to him for offering the reminder that we all can make changes for the better, become wiser, and keep our mouths shut until it is important to speak.
    And here’s a *hug* to everyone posting.

  48. Dan says:

    Willow, good comment. Whatever one thinks about RDJ, he does seem to be digging life. Good for him.

  49. Feebee says:

    Hmm, Jodie Foster got roasted for standing by her friend of many years Mel Gibson. RDJ rightly does the same, be it more subtly and he’s “classy” etc. I’m not saying he’s not but it’s another glaring double standard.

  50. birdgherl says:

    WOW…he looks amazing. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  51. Chris says:

    I can’t believe how many of you are complementing RDJ for not slamming Sheen and Mel after you’ve slammed them yourselves. If anyone on this site reserved judgment on them you’d accuse them of being apologists.

  52. RDJess says:

    Good to know I’m not the only one that is enamored with this hairstyle. You know, I’m thinking RDJ needs to be featured on HGF again this week since his movie is coming out. Jus’ sayin’!!

  53. Raven says:

    Twez is exactly right. RDJ has grown up but he still knows how to act the charming rake. I just watched Iron Man and he was insufferably adorable.