Please Don’t Let Robert Downey Jr.’s Son Turn out like Shia LaBeouf
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Please Don’t Let Robert Downey Jr.’s Son Turn out like Shia LaBeouf


Sometimes the most predictable downfalls are the most disappointing. For an unabashedly rabid Robert Downey Jr. fan like me (no seriously, you do not want to know), learning that his 20-year-old son Indio was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon was the opposite of shocking. But it still gave me feelings. And I am not an unabashedly rabid fan of feelings.

From Snorting to Smoking: Joy Ride Turned Patrol Car

Indio Falconer Downey (who’s also the singer and guitarist for Nirvannabe band The Seems) was riding in a car near the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega when cops drove up alongside and saw him smoking a glass pipe. They pulled him over, found coke, and took him to L.A. County jail, from which he was released on $10,250 bail just after midnight.

Normally, a 20-year-old doing coke in WeHo isn’t cause to cry “addiction.” But smoking coke generally indicates you’ve graduated to the big leagues. Plus, Indio already did a stint in rehab last October for a pill problem that his mother, Deborah Falconer, described as “not that bad.” Keep in mind that Falconer was married to Robert Downey Jr. from 1992-2004, so yeah, that’s her standard of comparison.

The Addict Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

On the same day that Forbes named RDJ the most powerful actor on Forbes’  Celebrity 100, Robert expressed his gratitude to the police for their intervention. “Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it,” he said in a prepared statement. “Also, there is also a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being.”

Robert has been a huge inspiration for me in my own recovery journey, and I straight-up hate seeing him suffer. Word on the street says that another supposedly sober actor friend of Robert’s had been serving as Indio’s sobriety coach. Considering how that turned out, maybe Robert should have looked outside the industry for a role model for his son.

The good news, though, is that Indio is luckier than pretty much any addict on Earth—his dad is compassionate, filthy rich, and virtually BS-proof at this point. And he’s Iron Man. I think the kid’s in good hands.

Addicted to Asshole Behavior

Here’s who’s not smoking coke: actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf. At least, he allegedly wasn’t on any drugs during his shenanigans last Thursday. No, those antics were fueled by “at least four strawberry margaritas,” the World Cup and sheer douchery. In case you missed it, LaBeouf kicked off his adventures by chasing a homeless man through Times Square for his McDonald’s meal. (The best part of that video, by the way, is Pharrell’s “Happy” playing in the background.)

That was just the beginning of LaBeouf’s wacky adventure. His next stop was Studio 54, where he flagrantly disrupted a performance of Cabaret by chain-smoking, grabbing people’s butts (including that of star Alan Cumming) and standing up to cat-call the actors in middle of the performance. When the cops showed up and schlepped him off to Midtown North in handcuffs, his belligerence ramped up: LaBeouf repeatedly spit on them, threatened to ruin their lives, and cursed them out with a homophobic slur. Jeez, Shia, even Indio friggin’ Downey knows that when you’re going to be a hopeless Hollywood wastoid you should do it in the privacy of your own vehicle and not be a total ass about it.

Hopefully Transforming His Life

LaBeouf was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment. I guess he was that sad to be left out of the latest Transformers.  Now he’s checked himself into a Hollywood rehab and was seen clutching the Big Book of AA. Theater fans and bums everywhere hope it takes.

Besides summertime substance abuse, Shia LaBeouf and Indio have one more thing in common—they both played younger versions of Robert Downey Jr.’s character in films:  A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (featuring Shia) and the delightful Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (featuring Indio) both star a cleaned-up, pre-Iron Man Downey for your viewing pleasure. As for me, I’m off to watch Shia chase that homeless dude again.

Photo Courtesy of nicolas genin from Paris, France [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Erica Larsen AKA Eren Harris blogs at Whitney Calls and Clean Bright Day. Their writing has also been published on Salon, Selfish, Violet Rising and YourTango. They live in Los Angeles with their husband and their enormous cat.