A day after Mark Wahlberg expressed regret for seeking a pardon for his 1988 assault conviction, a state official said the request is no longer being considered.
Wahlberg, who served about 45 days in a Plymouth jail for the attack on Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh outside a convenience store in Dorchester, had applied for the pardon two years ago.
Felix Browne, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, said the Massachusetts Parole Board sent letters last winter to all petitioners, including Wahlberg, asking if they wished to keep their applications open. The letter, he said, requested a response within 90 days or the petition would be deemed closed.
“The Parole Board did not receive a response from Mr. Wahlberg or a legal representative,” Browne told us Thursday. “The lack of response was effectively considered a withdrawal of the petition.”
In his application for the pardon, Wahlberg had cited his charity, the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation; his support of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club; and his habit of regularly attending church.
“I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past,” he wrote. “To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”
The actor also acknowledged that a pardon would be helpful as he (and his brothers) continue to grow their restaurant business. The family has announced plans to open more than two dozen locations of their Wahlburgers chain.
Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Wahlberg told reporters he regrets asking for the pardon because it served to resuscitate a story that many people didn’t know or forgot about and that he’d worked hard over the past two-plus decades to put the incident behind him.
“If I could’ve done it over again I would never have focused on that or applied,” Wahlberg 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.”
The actor did say that applying for a pardon had given him a chance to meet and apologize to one of his victims, and he was grateful for that.
In his application to the state, Wahlberg described his 1988 assault as the actions of a foolish 16-year-old who was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He encountered Lam and Trinh, who had immigrated to Boston from Vietnam, outside a convenience store in Dorchester. According to prosecutors, Wahlberg uttered racial epithets at both and then broke a five-foot pole over Lam’s head and punched Trinh.
Speaking to reporters in Toronto, the actor said he’s since met with one of his victims and apologized.
“Some good did come out of it,” he said.
Attempts to reach Lam and Trinh were unsuccessful Thursday.