Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. were one of the hottest couples in Hollywood in the 1980s. They met when they were both 18 years old and moved in together after a few weeks of dating. They starred in several movies together, such as Firstborn and Flight of the Navigator, and seemed to have a fairy-tale romance.
But behind the scenes, their relationship was plagued by Downey Jr.’s struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. The Iron Man star has admitted that he was hooked on cocaine, heroin, and alcohol for most of his adult life, and that his substance abuse caused him to lose many roles, friends, and lovers.
One of those lovers was Parker, who recently opened up about how she felt during their seven-year relationship. In a profile for The New Yorker, the Sex and the City star revealed that she was “angry and embarrassed” by Downey Jr.’s addiction and how his inner circle treated her.
She said that she tried to provide him with “stability” and a “steady heartbeat” that allowed him to show up on time for work and appointments. But she felt that “people around him would be dismissive of me” and did not appreciate her efforts.
Parker also said that she never had a rebellious phase of her own, because she never felt the need to drink or do drugs. She said that she barely drinks now and has never taken drugs in her life. She added that she felt like a parent at the age of 22, when she was dating Downey Jr.
The couple broke up in 1991, after Parker realized that she could not save him from his addiction. She later said that she was scared to leave him because she feared he would die if she wasn’t there to take care of him.
Parker moved on with actor Matthew Broderick, whom she married in 1997. They have three children together: James, Marion, and Tabitha. Downey Jr. also got sober in 2003, after several stints in rehab and jail. He married producer Susan Levin in 2005. They have two children together: Exton and Avri.
Despite their rocky past, Parker and Downey Jr. have remained on good terms over the years. They have reunited several times for friendly dinners and events, and have expressed mutual respect and admiration for each other.
Downey Jr. told Parade magazine in 2008 that he has “great respect” for Parker and that she was a huge support for him when they were together. He said that she provided him with “a home and understanding” and that she tried to help him get his act together.
Parker also told People magazine in 2018 that she does not resent the time spent with Downey Jr. She said that it was a “really adventurous, important” part of her life and that she was “so proud” to see his success and growth professionally.