While being honored with the American Cinematheque Award, the Iron Man star pleaded with Hollywood to "forgive" Gibson, his former Air America co-star, who was in attendance to present him with the award, according to Deadline.com.
"Unless you are without sin — and if you are, you are in the wrong [expletive] industry — you should forgive him and let him work," Downey said.
Gibson made headlines in 2006 when he made an an anti-Semitic rant during a DUI arrest. More recently, the Braveheart actor was at the center of a domestic scandal after a string of leaked recordings of Gibson yelling offensive remarks at ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during their custody battle were released. Grigorieva also accused Gibson of punching her in the head and face; the actor then pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor spousal battery charge. He was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling.
At the event, Downey recalled how Gibson helped him get his own life back on track when they worked together in 1990. "I couldn't get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility — he called it 'hugging the cactus' — long enough, my life would take meaning," Downey said. "And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him."
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