April 03, 1998 12:00 AM

Hours after his latest arrest on charges of being under the influence of an unknown “stimulant,” say police, Robert Downey Jr., 36, won’t be finishing this season of TV’s “Ally McBeal,” the show’s producer, David E. Kelley, has announced. Downey was taken into custody after being arrested while he was on foot in suburban Los Angeles early Tuesday. He was detained for a few hours and issued a citation, said Culver City Police Lt. Dave Tankenson. According to reports, no illegal substance was found on the actor, who was released into the custody of his parole officer. Downey’s publicist said Tuesday that the troubled actor has checked himself into an undisclosed detox center. He is due back in court on May 4. Meanwhile, Downey’s producer, Emmy-winning David E. Kelley, said in a statement issued Tuesday, “We are wrapping up the stories on the final few episodes of ‘Ally McBeal’ for the season without him.” Downey spent a year in a California prison on drug-related charges. Three months after his August 2000 release, he was arrested in Palm Springs, Calif., for drug possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. If convicted on all three counts in that case (felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of the prescription sedative diazepam, also known as Valium, and a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance), he could face a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison. In December 2000, Downey’s stepmother, Rosemary Rogers Downey, told PEOPLE that the actor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder syndrome and has not received help for it. “It’s the reason he has a hard time staying sober,” she says. “What hasn’t been tried is medication and intensive psychotherapy.”

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