And Downey asked the star-studded audience to “forgive” Mel, and more importantly, to hire him.
Downey said “Unless you are without sin―and if you are, you are in the wrong f**king industry, you should forgive him and let him work.”
In 1990 the two men co-starred in Air America, at a time when Downey’s substance abuse problems made it impossible for the producers to insure him. Gibson fought for his friend, even posting the insurance bond himself.
Downey told the audience on Friday night: ““Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. 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. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him”.
Downey then hugged Gibson and asked everyone to allow Mel to move forward with his career “without shame.”