How Mark Wahlberg went from an attempted murder charge to Hollywood success
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Mark Wahlberg might be a multi-millionaire film star with a bizarre daily routine, but back in the day he was a seriously bad lad, getting involved with criminal activity, drugs, and facing jail for racially aggravated crime.
Years before he starred in flicks like The Departed, The Perfect Storm, or The Fighter, and even years before he found brief musical success with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Wahlberg was headed in one direction only.
Born into a poor neighbourhood and a big family - the youngest of nine kids - Wahlberg's parents divorced while he was a child, and he allegedly became addicted to cocaine at the age of 13.
He left school at 14 before getting deeper into his burgeoning life of crime.
At 15, he was convicted for his part in a racially aggravated incident in which he pelted black kids with rocks and shouted racial abuse at them.
The next day, he was found doing the same thing again.
Two years later, he was under the influence of drugs when he attacked to Vietnamese man, beating one with a stick while hurling racial abuse at them.
One of his victims, Johnny Trinh, later said: “He knocked me down and I got up and ran.
“I was scared that he was going to hit me again.
“I just wanted to get away.
“I had never seen him before and did not know why he wanted to hit me.
“The guy was crazy, he must have been out of his mind on drugs.”
After beating another man - Thanh Lam - unconscious, he was charged with violating civil rights and given an injunction, but for the attack on Trinh he was charged with attempted murder, before pleading guilty to felony assault and being jailed.
He served just 45 days of a two-year sentence, using help from his musical brother and other contacts upon release to start turning his life around.
However, in 1992 when he was in his 20s Wahlberg reportedly got involved in another violent incident, as well as appearing on British TV show The Word to praise homophobic dancehall artist Shabba Ranks.
What’s more, his 1992 autobiography Marky Mark was dedicated ‘my d***’ - a move he later admitted he regrets.
In an interview with ABC in 2006, Wahlberg said that he regretted his past mistakes but no longer struggled with that regret.
He said: “I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes.
“You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn't until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away.
“So I don't have a problem going to sleep at night.
“I feel good when I wake up in the morning.”
He sparked more controversy in 2014 when he asked for the beating of Trinh to be expunged from his criminal record.
Writing his pardon application, Wahlberg said: “I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims.
“Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.”
That application met with opposition from Asian activists, and a judge rejected it.
After that, he said: “I didn't need that.
“I spent 28 years righting the wrong. I didn't need a piece of paper to acknowledge it.
“I was kind of pushed into doing it, I certainly didn't need to or want to relive that stuff over again.”
Trinh actually said that he believed that the pardon should have been granted, and the pair eventually did meet up for a proper apology.
“I would like to see him get a pardon. He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer,” he said.
“He paid for his crime when he went to prison. I am not saying that it did not hurt when he punched me in the face, but it was a long time ago.
“He has grown up now. I am sure he has his own family and is a responsible man.”
However, Kristyn Attwood, a teacher he attacked in 1986, didn’t feel the same way.
“If you're a racist, you're always going to be a racist and for him to want to erase it, I just think it's wrong,” she said.