Downey Written Out of 'Ally' After New Arrest

ByABC News
April 25, 2001, 5:16 AM

April 25 -- Hours after his latest arrest, actor Robert Downey Jr. was dropped from the TV show Ally McBeal, at least for the rest of the season.

Downey, who is scheduled to appear in court next week in connection with a November drug arrest, was picked up at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday while walking on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, Calif.

Culver City police Lt. Dave Tankenson said Downey's behavior as he walked suggested he was under the influence of something illegal. Downey, who submitted a urine sample, was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance and released into the custody of his parole officer.

He checked into a rehab facility shortly afterward.

"Mr. Downey was cooperative," said Tankenson. "He was described as being pretty solemn and disappointed, [and] didn't say a whole lot."

He said the arresting officer did not immediately recognize the actor.

Ally Loses Another Boyfriend

Even after Downey's November arrest, the television show appeared committed to working with him. After all, the troubled actor and the show had been good for each other: Downey won a Golden Globe, and the show got a boost in its then-sagging ratings.

But producers have apparently had enough.

"We are wrapping up the stories on the final few episodes of Ally McBeal for the season without him," producer David E. Kelley said in a statement.

Kelley called Downey "a unique talent and a very special person ... we wish him the best and hope for his full recovery."

It was unclear whether episodes already in the can with Downey would air, and also unclear how if at all they would work his character, who had formed a romantic bond with the title character, out of the show.

Not Just an Actor a Singer With Soul

Downey had been scheduled to do an in-store appearance Tuesday at a record store in Los Angeles with singer Vonda Shepard to promote a soundtrack album from Ally McBeal. On the album, Downey does a duet with Sting of "Every Breath You Take." Downey also sings a song that he wrote called "Snakes."