As he received the American Cinematheque Award at a Beverly Hills ceremony on Friday night, Robert Downey Jr. took a moment to voice his support for Mel Gibson. TheWrap.com reports that after Gibson presented the award to Downey, the Iron Man actor told the audience, “I urge you to forgive my friend his trespasses.” The comment was met with applause. Downey then said, “Allow him to pursue this art without shame.”
The public’s perception of Gibson was tarnished last year, when profane, racist and sexist recordings of the actor berating his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, leaked onto the Internet.
Downey noted during his speech that Gibson lent him a hand a decade ago, while Downey was overcoming a drug addiction, by paying his insurance bond for the 2003 film The Singing Detective. Downey said, “He kept a roof over my head and put food on my table.”