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From the archives: Mark Wahlberg reckons with allegations

Mark Wahlberg is hoping the state will wipe out his conviction in the 1988 beating of a Vietnamese man, an attack in which Wahlberg — then an unknown teen from Dorchester — used racial slurs as he beat the victim with a five-foot stick.

Though the incident attracted little notice at the time, it was one of several that would trail Wahlberg as he built his career as a hip-hop artist, then an actor.

RELATED: Wahlberg applies to have 1988 assault erased

Wahlberg has long said he regrets the actions of his teenage years, and has answered many questions about them over the years. Here’s a look at how the coverage unfolded in his hometown.


On Oct. 12, 1988, word of Wahlberg’s transgressions appeared in a short Boston Globe article that discussed his sentencing, along with some of the previous allegations against him.

The story appeared on the upper right corner of Page 59.

Those elements of Wahlberg’s past did not draw much attention until after he began to raise his profile as the frontman of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, an ascent helped by his relationship with older brother Donnie Wahlberg of the New Kids on the Block.

In a 1991 profile, Mark Wahlberg acknowledged some parts of his record, and even discussed how it would play with his hip hop image. He did not go into detail about the racial elements of the cases.

“I got in crazy trouble. It’s nothing to be proud of,” he said at the time. “Shoplifting, assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon. I got punished by the law. . . . I know what it’s like to be around trouble and drugs and gangs and stuff like that. It’s nothing I want to brag about. I more or less want to do things to better, to help people. I’m not out to be bragging about shooting people or glamorizing it. Because it’s terrible, stupid.”
By 1993, media had picked up on the full details of the allegations against Wahlberg — including some more recent cases. He apologized and blamed alcohol and drugs for clouding his judgment.

In 2000, as Walhberg’s acting career grew with his role in “The Perfect Storm,” he discussed the allegations with the Globe again in a profile.

“They keep writing the same article over and over,” he said “I actually had a talk with the president of one of the studios about it. They were trying to get me to do this interview, this magazine cover, and I said, `Look, I did something for that magazine before and they just wrote the same story. This is their angle.’ And he said, ‘That’s why you should do it! They [expletive] love it! It’s great.’”

RELATED: Wahlberg applies to have 1988 assault erased

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.