MARK Wahlberg says it felt like a "weight was lifted" off his shoulders when the Vietnamese man he assaulted stated he had forgiven him.
The 43-year-old actor applied to the Governor of Massachusetts for a pardon for his 1988 assault conviction insisting he is now a model citizen compared to the troubled individual he was at the time the attack took place when he was just 16.
Last year, his victim Hoa 'Johnny' Trinh gave an interview to website MailOnline in which he confirmed he was not blinded by Wahlberg but had lost his sight in his left eye during the Vietnam War and he had forgiven the Hollywood hunk over the attack.
'The Gambler' star is very grateful for his words, saying: "Imagine the weight lifted off of my shoulders when this guy came out and said that he forgave me and that I wasn't responsible for his eye injury - that it was something that happened in 1975. That's why I was tried as an adult ... Hopefully I've done enough to be given a second chance and if not, it doesn't change how much work I'm going to put into what I'm doing."
Wahlberg - who served 45 days of his two-year sentence in an adult prison - insists getting the pardon is important to him because it would be proof of how he has successfully rehabilitated himself as a person.
The actor - who is married to fashion model Rhea Durham, with whom he has four children - is a devout Catholic, works with disadvantaged youngsters and is supporting old friends of his who have fallen on hard times and he wants to leave his bad boy tag in the past.
Discussing his pardon request in an interview with The Times newspaper, he said: "This has been my life for the past 27 years. This is what I think about every day ... It does bother me a bit that people say, 'Oh, now that he's a successful celebrity he feels he's entitled to a clean slate.' This is my life ... People think, well now it's a new story, but it's really still the same story. If you ever go back to read any profile or magazine piece I've done, it's always the bad boy turned good."
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