Mark Wahlberg had ‘tears of joy’ after his victim publicly forgave him

Mark Wahlberg

Last week, I got caught up in the fervor over Mark Wahlberg’s request for a pardon for violently attacking two Vietnamese men when he was 16. I neglected to mention that Brie Larson’s dress for The Gambler premiere was Rodarte. Brie plays the student of Mark’s professor character who discovers his double life. They enter into a relationship, of course. The filmmakers and Mark sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about how this remake switches focus. The lead character’s gambling isn’t portrayed as an addiction but as a conscious escape from life. Screenwriter William Monahan flat out said, “I don’t believe in addiction. Everything is sort of voluntary.” Interesting.

Mark sat down for a big interview with NY Mag. The piece hasn’t come out yet, but the publication released a teaser. We already talked about how one of Mark’s victims, Johnny Trinh, thinks he deserves a pardon. Trinh also corrected the enduring reports that Mark blinded him during the attack. Trinh was already blind in one eye, and Mark responds to this new revelation:

While speaking to Vulture today to promote his new film The Gambler (the full interview will run next week), we asked Wahlberg how it felt to get that forgiveness from Johnny Trinh, one of the men the then-16-year-old attacked (prompting a 45-day prison sentence and a felony conviction he’s now trying to expunge). “Tears of joy,” Wahlberg told us.

[The] new information has left Wahlberg reeling, “especially because I’ve carried the burden around for so many years thinking I had caused this guy to go blind,” he said.

“The graciousness, the kindness in his heart to forgive me anyway for my unnecessary and horrible actions … ” Wahlberg paused for a long time before continuing. “You know, there are many things that I’ve dealt with in my past, and being a devout Catholic and knowing that I can’t be forgiven unless I can forgive, I just thought that what he said was very special. I was overwhelmed with emotion.”

[From Vulture]

Yeah. Mark is working it. This press tour is less about promoting The Gambler than Mark drumming up pressure for his pardon. The timing of Mark’s petition is too suspect. If Mark gets pardoned, it will be by Governor-elect Charlie Baker and his council. I can’t find any evidence of Mark donating to Baker, but Mark regularly donates to political campaigns. It would make for a rocky start to Baker’s tenure to toss a pardon right out of the gate, but that’s what Mark wants.

Mark also stopped by to visit Live with Kelly and Michael to talk about how his family’s Christmas is very religious, but Mark desires more. If he had it his way, it would be like this: “No gifts and go to church.” No gifts for kids? Not cool, Marky Mark. He admits that his wife, Rhea, “loves, loves the holidays” and overruled Mark’s idea. The family will spend Christmas at home and then go on vacation to Barbados.

Here’s a clip of that Live appearance.

Mark Wahlberg

Photos courtesy of WENN

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50 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg had ‘tears of joy’ after his victim publicly forgave him”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    It is wonderful that one of the victims forgave him – but it doesn’t mean he deserves a pardon.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I really admire the man who forgave him. I still don’t think he deserves a pardon, and I hope he doesn’t get one. I think he got off very lightly for what he did, and pardons should be used in exceptional cases where there were mitigating circumstances or evidence of innocence.

  3. SK says:

    His sanctimonious religion schtick really aggravates me. Oh now you’re a hardcore Christian family man huh? Now that it’s convenient and works for you. You banged your way through a thousand chicks, partied, drank, took drugs, started fights, did whatever you wanted. Then when that became boring and you were ready to settle down you suddenly picked up your religion, dusted it off, and decided to be the picture perfect, church-going family man. So religious that you have to bring it up constantly, preach about it, feel superior because of it, even talk about how you’d prefer a church-only Christmas with no presents, you’re such a purist. Smells strongly of bullsh*t to me. Entourage was based on him. I mean, come on!!

  4. NewWester says:

    I do wonder how Mark explained what he did to his children? Also the whole business of asking for a pardon? I still think there is more to asking for this pardon.

    • Lola says:

      “I made a mistake, we all make mistakes”. It’s a good excuse that seems to work for everybody. No consequences, ever.

  5. Brandii says:

    I cant stand this guy. Aside from his clever side stepping of the racial aspects of not just this attack but other previous ones theres this gem ” knowing that I can’t be forgiven unless I can forgive, I just thought that what he said was very special”. Wtf does that mean? That he too was somehow also a victim in all of this? Or is this just the line his handlers fed his victim to guilt him into issuing his forgiveness through a media outlet?

    • Lola says:

      Yes, they probably told the victim that he wasn’t being a good christian and was going to hell for not being able to forgive a poor man who was suffering as much as him.

  6. Mzizkrizten says:

    I’m of the opinion that if he really felt remorse, if this awful thing he did really weighed on him, he would have reached out to his victim long ago to make amends. And in doing so he’d already know the man was already blind. It appears that only now that the criminal history is impeding a project of Mark’s does he suddenly care.

    • Msmlnp says:

      Spot on. As a “non devout” Catholic, I find his attitude and actions towards forgiveness warped.

    • Anony says:

      He is ridiculously rich and yet did he ever offer to, oh I don’t know, help this partially sided man by paying for things like excellent medical care, education so he could get a better job, ANYTHING?!?! $100,000 would be the same for him as us buying a coffee for someone (in terms of proportionate wealth). Yet he gave ZILCH!

  7. Laura says:

    The only thing that I get from all this is that Mr. Trinh has the heart of an angel and is a much better person than Mark Wahlberg, who didn’t know he had not permanently blinded him because he had never reached out to him to apologise or offer a monetary reparation (when he could afford it).
    How outrageous that he has the gall to ask for a formal pardon from the State when he hasn’t shown true remorse, and he doesn’t deserve it anyway , he committed several violent crimes and most of them were racially motivated, just because he is now rich and famous does not mean that he should be pardoned, if anything it shows that his criminal past hasn’t affected him professionally in any way.

  8. Lilacflowers says:

    I’m just going to say something about “reaching out to the victim.” I’m a resident of Massachusetts who was a victim of a crime. The guys who attacked me were caught immediately. The police, the district attorney’s office, the prison system, and the parole board did everything imaginable to prevent either one of them from knowing where I was or how to contact me. In fact, I was told that if either one of them ever “reached out” to me, I was to contact the police immediately – and the crime against me was far less violent or severe than this one. So, no, he couldn’t “reach out” to the victim privately or really in public either.

    Also, when they came up for parole, the state contacted me and asked my opinion. Very likely, the state will do the same in this case.

    • Chatty says:

      I’m sorry for what you went through.

      The issue with Wahlberg reaching out, though, isn’t that he wasn’t able to; it’s that he is on record, repeatedly, saying it wasn’t necessary because the only forgiveness he needed was his own. He never says, “It was my first instinct, but the system rightly is set up to protect victims from unwanted contact. If I could tell him directly, I would.” Wahlberg says, “I didn’t need to contact him. I forgave me. I sleep at night with a clean conscience.”

      And Wahlberg only sought a pardon once it interfered with his ability to expand the Wahlburger’s franchise (because of concessionaire license requirements in other states). This is a business-driven request.

      • cyndi says:

        Not only does he want to be able to obtain a concessionaire license, but I read he wants to become a probation/parole officer. These are positions that require the ability to be able to carry a firearm. Persons with felony convictions of course are not allowed to own or carry a gun.

    • Illyra says:

      Thank you for posting that.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah… that was something I was wondering about. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d want the person who assaulted me, or robbed me, or whatever the crime might be, to show up in my life again.

    • Mzizkrizten says:

      This is also true.

  9. Kiddo says:

    Johnny Trinh is a generous man, who is a better role model than Wahlberg will ever be.

  10. Ginger says:

    I don’t like the sort of precedent that will be set if Mark does get a pardon. It could really be a nightmare. It does all seem to be suspicious in reference to the timing. As for the screenwriters feelings that “addiction doesn’t exist and is voluntary” well, he obviously has not studied the matter more deeply nor do I believe he has had any personal experience with it. It is scientifically proven to exist. Moreover, if he wrote in such a manner as to be a simple plot twist then I believe that is reckless and misleading. There are plenty of people who die each year due to addiction. That is not a matter to be taken lightly. As for a gambling addiction, this being a film about gambling, my ex-husband is a gambling addict and an alcoholic. This took a major toll on our marriage and was one of the main causes of our divorce. I don’t think I will be seeing this film since the people involved are idiots.

  11. Chatty says:

    As a Bostonian, allow me a couple of points:

    1) If this lands on Baker’s desk, there is ZERO chance it gets approved. Baker will not inaugurate his four-year governorship by approving a lightning rod of a pardon.

    2) If this lands on Patrick’s desk before he leaves office, the odds are slim-to-none. Had this remained under the radar, I could see Patrick green-lighting it as a lot of pardons get pushed through by someone with an IDGAF attitude on their way out the door. But it’s not under the radar, and Patrick is eyeing a post-gubernatorial position at MIT. I would be shocked if he risked sullying his reputation by granting this request given the firestorm it has unleashed.

    3) Most importantly: No pardons have been issued in Massachusetts since 2002. Either Governor will have to ask himself, is this the person for whom you want to break that streak? *Him*? Yeah, I don’t think so.

    4) It should go without saying that had Wahlberg ever reached out to his victim, he’d have known years ago about backstory with the man’s blindness. Again, Wahlberg has only himself to blame.

    • Tippy says:

      On his way out of office, Governor Patrick has already approved 4 pardons and 1 commutation.

      For a Governor with any political aspirations, there is little to gain and everything to lose by approving a pardon.

      FWIW: Wahlberg looks like he could still take an eye out. A person with such a volatile and violent past should not be entrusted with a concealed weapons permit.

  12. jaye says:

    What bugs me about this is that Walburgh STILL hasn’t apologized for his actions. Who does he have to forgive? What? Did his victims maliciously attack his fists with their faces? Bye Felicia.

  13. Odessa says:

    I would have respected him if he had said something like “I will live with the guilt for the rest of my life. I am ashamed of my actions. I don’t deserve forgiveness, but I am grateful and humbled by it.”

    But no, he feels entitled to forgiveness. This whole thing bothers me so much.

  14. Nuzzybear says:

    From a PR standpoint, he’s done everything in the wrong order. Make the story about forgiveness and have the victim forgive him before he asks for a pardon. Tone deaf move.

  15. db says:

    Shows what a good soul his victim is, even to a certifiable cretin like Wahlberg.

  16. taxi says:

    Does anyone think some form of payment to the victim was involved? I do. Waiting this long & asking for a pardon rather than making a public apology years ago is just “off.” Oh, I forgot, Mark wants to become a cop. Tough to achieve with the crime still on the books.

    • NerdMomma says:

      Oh yeah. The timing is fishy, the statement is fishy. Marky Mark looks shadier with each passing story about this. I’ve actually loathed him since his 9/11 statements so he hasn’t lost me as a fan; I never was a fan.

      NerdMomma. Loathing Marky Mark since the 90′s.

  17. anne_000 says:

    Did I miss the part where MW went to his victims (plural) and apologized to them face-to-face?

    It may be gracious of just one of his victims to forgive a man who never asked for forgiveness nor apologized to him directly, but it’s very ‘entitled’ of MW to accept the forgiveness without saying and doing anything to the victims (plural) to get that forgiveness.

    Again, what’s stopping MW from seeking out his victims (yes, plural) and apologizing to them face to face? Probably a racist ego that can’t bring himself to do so?

  18. andypandy says:

    This thing with Wahlberg coming out against the background of what is happening in the USA at this time ,really shows the paradox of two Americas
    If you google it you will see this was not his only offense but he has a long history which includes theft assault resisting arrest drug dealing and racial menacing with a lot of chances probation etc. and very little jail time (looking at his rap sheet you would be hard pressed to find any black kid with similar offenses who didn’t do hard time )
    For the most part white kids often get the benefit of just being a troubed kid, youthful indiscretion etc , no one is advocating that they are thugs, demon hulks who deserve to be shot in the street , be locked up and the key thrown away.
    If you ask me he already got his ” pardon “

  19. phlyfiremama says:

    I hereby dub him Skidmarky mark….

  20. Flaminora1 says:

    Typical narcissistic behavior from someone who has never taken real responsibility for his behavior, and thinks because he pretends to be sorry, we should all forgive him and give him a pass. Pardoning him so he can pretend to be a cop and carry a gun. Wow. There’s a smart move.

    I think he is a racist jerk, I do not care for him or his ugly brother who married that ridiculous airhead Jenny McCarthy. Stupid is as stupid does.