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Robert Downey Jr.'s wife Susan reveals major misconception about their 18-year marriage

The Iron Man star has been married to producer Susan Downey for 18 years

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey attend the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
Bryony Gooch
US Writer
9 April 2024
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As Robert Downey Jr. receives his flowers following his Oscar win, his wife Susan is dispelling misconceptions about their marriage and how they got together.

During the actor's acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor in Oppenheimer, Robert dedicated his win to his wife, claiming she "loved me back to life". But according to his wife, a well-respected producer, Robert played just as important a role in her life.

robert downey jr and wife susan golden globes© Getty Images
Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)

"Everybody loves the simple narrative of somehow I came in and turned his life around and blah, blah, blah,", she told Esquire

"But I can tell you that I would never be who I am without him in my life. His trajectory is just the easier one to chart because he’s had to live his ups and downs in public", she added. 

"When we met, we were fortunate that he was in a place where he was open to do things differently than he had historically. But you know what? So was I."

robert downey jr susan downey wedding day© Getty Images
Robert and Susan married in 2005 on Long Island

The Iron Man star has credited his wife for helping him get sober after they met in 2003, as his addiction had been well-publicized. The couple met on the set of Gothika, and famously Susan turned down his romantic advances twice, although they eventually started dating during production.

According to the producer, she made it clear early on that he needed to get sober. "I said, 'This isn't gonna work.' I made it clear that to stay with me, nothing could happen," she told Harper's Bazaar in 2009.

"I think he saw what we had. There was something magical there, something we couldn't put our finger on", she said. "He always says that we became this third thing when we got together—something that neither of us could have become by ourselves—and I think that’s true."

Years later, as the Oscar winner sat down with Esquire, he seemed to share Susan's sentiment.

"It's beyond us being two humans who co-habitate and have built a life together. There’s something about her that remains almost entirely a mystery", he said. "I'll see her across the kitchen and study her as though I'm a private investigator. And I'm not looking for some hidden motive. It's just . . . she’s a full-length mirror."

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