Mark Wahlberg is making plans to meet one of two men he attacked in 1988 face-to-face so he can officially apologize for the actions of his troubled youth.
The star recently appealed to officials at the Board of Pardons in Massachusetts to wipe the felony conviction, for which he served 45 days in jail as a teen, from his record.
One of his victims, Vietnamese man Johnny Trinh, spoke out about the assault for the first time this week and admitted he had no idea his attacker had since turned his life around and become a big movie star.
He also voiced his support for Wahlberg’s pardon request, telling Britain’s Daily Mail, “He was young and reckless but I forgive him now. Everyone deserves another chance. I would like to see him get a pardon. He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer.”
The comments caught Wahlberg’s eye and a representative for the actor has since reached out to Trinh at his family home in Arlington, Texas, offering to fly him out to Los Angeles to receive a formal apology.
Trinh’s daughter Tammy, 21, says, “We have been told that Mr. Wahlberg wants to apologize in person and has offered to fly us to Los Angeles. My father is meeting with his employer to see if he can get time off from work. It is very exciting.”
Meanwhile, Wahlberg has dismissed reports suggesting he is only seeking the pardon to expand his restaurant empire, while he has also brushed off other rumors alleging he needs a clean slate to fulfil his plans to enrol as a reserve officer for the Los Angeles police force, insisting he has “never applied” for such a role.
And he claims the outcome of his request will not affect the work he has been doing over the years to help other troubled youths regain control of their lives.
He says, “I was committed to turning my life around and I’m committed to turning other kids’ lives around and helping them avoid the mistakes that I’ve made… It’s 27 years in the works and if I’m not granted the pardon it will not change my commitment to working in the community.”