Date: 17th July 2001

Robert Downey Jnr Avoids Prison

LATEST: Haggard-looking actor ROBERT DOWNEY JnR. struck a plea bargain on drug charges that sent him to rehab instead of jail and may free him up to act in the meantime.

Under a new California law stressing cure over punishment, Downey was sentenced to a year in a rehabilitation program yesterday (16JUL01). Without the law, it's likely he would have faced jail time.

He also was fined, handed three years' probation and must comply with random drug testing and searches. RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE RANDALL WHITE warned Downey that he could spend up to four years behind bars if he violates the terms. Asked if he understood, Downey replied, "I'm well aware, Your Honor. " (PDD/WNWA)

Source: WENN