Robert Downey Jr. in a tan coat and red scarf

Are Robert Downey Jr.‘s friends worried about his sobriety after the death of his father? That’s the story one tabloid is pushing this week. Gossip Cop investigates the claims.

‘Relapse Fears’ For Robert Downey Jr.?

This week, the National Enquirer reports Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr.’s “fragile sobriety” is at risk following the death of his father. An inside source explains, “Watching his dad’s health decline from the effects of Parkinson’s was very hard for Robert. He’s been hit hard by the loss, and people around him are worried he’ll relapse.” The insider continues, “There are still a lot of mixed emotions there. His dad was a heavy substance abuser throughout Robert’s childhood, and it led to his own addiction problems.”

The source then adds, “While his dad was able to quit cold turkey in the early ’80s, it took Robert another 20 years.” The tabloid notes that the tragedy is on the heels of another loss of Downey’s, since his assistant and close friend Jimmy Rich passed in a fatal car accident just two months prior. The source notes, “This is a double tragedy.”

Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Fragile Sobriety’ At Risk?

So, is Downey’s sobriety in a fragile state following the death of two important people in his life? Well, who’s to say, really? Addiction is a messy, complicated disease. It’s not something people simply recover from but is rather a constant battle. That being said, there is no evidence that Downey is at an increased risk of relapse. Grief is a difficult experience for anyone. All we can say for sure is that offensive reports like these definitely don’t help. Downey seems to be handling this trying time with grace, uplifting the memory of those he lost and supporting those who are also grieving.

Downey honored his father in an Instagram post where he wrote, “RIP Bob D. Sr. 1936-2021…Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s ..he was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout..According to my stepmoms calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years.” Downey then offered his condolences to his stepmother, writing, “Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Downey also honored Rich in a separate post where he wrote, “He was a brother, my right hand man, an uncle to our kids and beloved by all who experienced his singular character and wit.. our thoughts go to his relatives, friends, co-workers, and all the fans who knew him as the man who supported every step of my recovery, life and career.” Instead of doing anything to honor those who have passed or uplift Downey as he grieves, the tabloid chose to speculate wildly and cast doubt on his sobriety. The outlet’s behavior is nothing short of shameful.

The Tabloid On Celebrity Relapses

This isn’t the first time the National Enquirer has exploited a celebrity’s struggles to sell magazines. Last year, the tabloid claimed Portia de Rossi was relapsing amid Ellen DeGeneres’ scandals. Then the outlet alleged Michael Douglas was relapsing after the death of his parents. And more recently, the publication claimed Tiger Woods was on a “slippery slope” to relapse. Obviously, the outlet has no concern for celebrities’ health and recovery and instead sensationalizes their struggles for its own gain.

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