Robert Downey Jr.: "An entirely bloated dysfunction"

Recently freed actor says, "I was an asshole"; Gwyneth Paltrow gets even more tedious; Jane magazine sets the record straight: Hurley and Grant's sex was okey-dokey. Plus: Has Lara Flynn Boyle dumped Nicholson for Willis?

By Amy Reiter
September 15, 2000 8:37PM (UTC)
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If you've been waiting to hear what the cleaner, wiser Robert Downey Jr. has to say after years in prison on a drug rap, it's your lucky day.

The freshly sprung actor has given the details about life on the inside, and life on the outs, to the newly resurrected men's mag Details.


While Downey says he's "proud of the way I've conducted myself since the incarceration" and is "coming from a place of total strength and humility now," he admits that before the judicial system had its way with him, he wasn't always a top-quality guy.

"I was an asshole, a total asshole," he says, tearing up over the alienation of his wife's affections. Now legally separated from Downey, Deborah Falconer is living with another man, despite Downey's desire to reunite. "Basically," he admits about the dissolution of his personal life, "this is all my fault."

And it wasn't just the drugs. "Chemicals were the last addition to an entirely bloated dysfunction," he says. "For me, it was about women and spending. The drugs were the icing, part of the deal. They all worked together. I was clearly thinking I needed this stuff."


For instance, he depended on the drugs to get him through life's rough moments, like spending time with his kid and his pocket monsters, which he says felt like "such a chore." "Like, ugh, my kid wants to look at these Pokimon cards. God! Really! I could deal with this if I smoked a couple grams of black-tar heroin."

But before you start nodding and congratulating Downey on his child-rearing ingenuity, he insists that he sees things differently now. "I don't want to be a proponent of the system, but certain ideals have changed for me," he says. "I would have been the first to say it's unconstitutional to put drug abusers in jail or prison. Well, it's unconstitutional to be a human being and screw your life up that way. I wouldn't wish my experience on an enemy." But what's his solution for dealing with abusers? "Lock 'em down."

Whoa, harsh toke.


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Something to fret about

"I perfected the art of falling asleep while playing the guitar when I was a teenager ... Sometimes it can go nastily wrong. You wake up lying under a guitar with something wet and sticky all over your sides, like cold tea or wine."


-- Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler on the soporific effects of strumming.

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Jane's affliction

Shocking news. Are you sitting down?

Reports of Hugh Grant's shortcomings in bed have been grossly exaggerated. In fact, they may even have been fabricated out of whole cloth.


Jane magazine has backed away from its recent juicy "interview" with Elizabeth Hurley in which the actress reportedly dished major dirt on the prowess of her former mate.

Hurley immediately disclaimed the article, threatened the magazine with legal action and wrote them a plaintive letter. "I never at any time said anything disparaging about my sex life with Hugh Grant," she said. "I never referred to it as 'less than adequate' and never said that I don't miss sex with him.

"I have spoken about Hugh hundreds, if not thousands, of times and I have never said anything mean about him and never would because I truly love him."


The magazine, which originally stood by the story, now admits that "the tape recording itself of the reporter's interview contains no derogatory statements by Ms. Hurley about Mr. Grant or her relationship with him, including no reference by Ms. Hurley to her sex with Mr. Grant being inadequate."

So does that mean she will sleep in the wet spot?

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No 5 a.m. calls for Daddy's little girl!


"I asked the hairdresser, 'Do I really need to be in the first shot?' and she said, 'Yeah, we asked, and you definitely have to be in it.' So it's like, 'Da-a-addy, do I have to be in the first shot?' And he's like, 'Nope.' It was great."

-- Gwyneth Paltrow on the advantages of starring in a film that's being directed by her father.

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Juicy bits


Just in case you care a smidgen as much as the British tabloids do about where and when Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are going to tie the knot, it's looking like the nuptials will be held at New York's Plaza Hotel in November. "The Plaza in New York has been booked for months and there has never been any question of the couple holding their ceremony anywhere else," Douglas' spokesman told the London Mirror. "It is a fantastic venue which will provide the perfect backdrop for their big day." Lovely. Can we move on now?

Is it all over for Jack Nicholson and "The Practice" star Lara Flynn Boyle? Both the New York Post and Us Weekly are reporting that the unlikely coupling has reached its likely end. "I have to find a man, a good man," Us Weeky sources heard Boyle blurt immediately after the Emmys. And if the Post spies are to be believed, she found him that very night. Boyle was apparently spotted getting right close to Bruce Willis at a post-award-show bash. Guess she likes 'em bald.

Oh, what a tangled web ... Production on "Spider-Man" has been pushed back six months, meaning the film will probably not be released until May 2002, Variety reports. Columbia Pictures says the delay is for the good of the flick. According to the studio, the new timetable "makes possible a production and post-production schedule that will enable the film's creators to realize their ambitious vision for 'Spider-Man.'" Now, now ... don't go climbing the walls.

Amy Reiter

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