Arrest May Cost Downey More Than Ally

ByABC News
December 3, 2000, 5:53 PM

November 29 -- All eyes in the entertainment industry are on Robert Downey Jr., as the actor returns to work on the set of Fox's Ally McBeal following a weekend arrest on drug charges.

Downey was due to film the last two of 10 episodes he is under contract to do for the legal comedy series. Though the New York Post speculated that one of Downey's concerned Ally castmates may have been the anonymous caller who snitched to police about his alleged drug use, things seemed to be business as usual among Downey's TV colleagues.

"Shame on me! I'm angry at myself for not having invited [Robert Downey Jr.] to my house for Thanksgiving," Jami Gertz told Variety's Army Archerd today. Gertz, now Mrs. Tony Ressler and the mother of three young boys, originally co-starred with Downey in 1987's Less Than Zero featuring Downey as a down-and-out drug addict and has recently guested on four episodes of Ally with Downey.

During a conference call with reporters, Fox executives left open the possibility of extending Downey's recurring role, which has boosted Ally's ratings this fall.

"Nobody has closed the door on the possibility of his coming back later in the season," Sandy Grushow, chairman of the Fox Entertainment Television Group, told Reuters. "There could be more. Right now we don't have a deal with him."

TV Guide magazine quoted a source close to the show as saying that producers had "been trying to work out a big-bucks deal to keep [Downey] for as long as they could" but that "all bets are off now."

Anonymous Tip Led to ArrestOn Saturday, police received an anonymous 911 call from a man who claimed there was a man with cocaine and "a couple of guns" in the hotel room where Downey was staying at Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif. Officers found and arrested Downey Saturday.

He was charged with possession of cocaine and methamphetamine, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and committing a felony while out on bail. No weapon was found at the scene, though in a bizarre twist, one of the items confiscated was a Wonder Woman costume.