No One Saw This Coming From Amber Heard

Robert Downey Jr.: 'It's Time To Forgive Mel Gibson'

10/16/2011 3:00pm EDT

Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson

Robert Downey Jr. came to the defense of his pal Mel Gibson while picking up an American Cinematheque Award on Friday, calling for Hollywood to "forgive him and let him work."

The Iron Man star has known the troubled actor since the 1980s and has previously spoken out in favor of the Braveheart star following a string of personal woes played out in the press.

Downey Jr., who has battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his career, thanked Gibson for hiring him when "no one else would" in the 1990s - and now he's calling for other movie directors to do the same for his friend.

A star-studded crowd flooded the Beverly Hilton to honor Downey Jr.'s career, and the actor told the audience, "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.

"He taught me many things, and I will use the 'C' word - courage. There's nothing so much wrong with him. Of course you have to worry about the guy making the judgment here. He's a good dude with a good heart.

"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 expect the next guy would be him."


Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson


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Photo Credits: David Gabber / PR Photos