Robert Downey Jr. says fast food chain Burger King helped him beat drugs.

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The Iron Man actor – who was arrested in 1996 on drug and weapons charges, spent nearly a year in prison in 1999 and was arrested again in 2000 for a hotel drug sting operation – has publicly thanked the eatery for making him realise he needed to kick his habit.

Recalling an incident in 2003 when he was driving with “tons of f***ing dope” in his car, Robert says he stopped at a Burger King to get a burger, but the food had such a bad effect on him he thought he had overdosed.

He told Empire magazine: “I have to thank Burger King. It was such a disgusting burger I ordered. I had that, and this big soda, and I thought something really bad was going to happen.”

Robert revealed he then threw all his drugs into the sea and immediately decided to turn his life around.

The 43-year-old actor also admits his Iron Man character Tony Stark’s request for a cheeseburger after being released from his terrorist captors is a reference to his own experience.

Robert can next be seen starring alongside Ben Stiller in controversial comedy Tropic Thunder.