The Real-Life Legal Issues Of Mark Wahlberg, Explained

Mark Wahlberg was 16 years old when he was involved in yet another racially charged crime in his hometown of Boston, and this one resulted in the teenager spending time behind bars. In April 1988, Wahlberg attacked two Vietnamese men, hitting one of them with a five-foot-long stick and punching the second one in the eye; in both cases, he was accused of yelling racial slurs at the men. Multiple accounts of the crime (via The Smoking Gun) suggest that the would-be rapper-turned-actor bragged about his actions to police officers after he was placed under arrest.

Wahlberg was charged as an adult, and he served 45 days of a two-year jail sentence. In 2014, he requested a pardon from the state of Massachusetts for the assault on the Vietnamese men, expressing remorse for his past actions and acknowledging he was running with a bad crowd at that point in his life. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Johnny Trinh, one of the two victims in the 1988 attack, said that Wahlberg’s pardon request should be granted. “I would like to see him get a pardon,” he said, later adding, “He paid for his crime when he went to prison … He has grown up now. I am sure he has his own family and is a responsible man.”

Speaking to TheWrap in 2016, Wahlberg confirmed that he was able to personally apologize to Trinh and his family. However, he expressed regret over the pardon application, telling the outlet, “I was kind of pushed into doing it … I certainly didn’t need to or want to relive that stuff over again.”

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