Since news broke that Mark Wahlberg filed for a petition on November 28th to seek a pardon for a felony assault charge stemming from 1988, for which he served three months in prison, many have criticised the actor for trying to erase this crime from his record.

Mark Wahlberg
Wahlberg says his pardon isn't about "waving that magic wand" 

The incident occurred when Wahlberg was only 16 years-old, he was arrested for assaulting man his Dorchester, Mass., neighbourhood while attempting a robbery outside a convenience store. While under the influence of alcohol and drugs, the young Wahlberg attempted to steal two cases of liquor from the victim, hitting him over the head with a stick and then punching a second man as he escaped from police.

"Of course everyone has an opinion - is entitled to it - on whether I'm deserving of it or not," Wahlberg told TODAY on Friday (Dec 12th). "But you know, from the day I woke up in prison realizing the mistakes that I had made and the pain that I caused people, I committed to turning my life around."

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Wahlberg also explained how hard his decision to walk away from gang life after being released from prison.

"Going back into the community, still living in the neighborhood, and having to go to the train station every day and pass those guys was a tough thing to do," he said.

The Hollywood star has definitely turned his life around, as well as finding fame as a rapper-turned-actor, he has also founded several charitable organizations, including the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.

"If I'm not granted the pardon, it will not change my commitment to working in the communities," he insisted.

And if he his request to get pardoned is successful, Wahlberg is adamant it doesn't mean he will pretend the incident never happened. "People have said because of my celebrity, my success, that I'm basically waving that magic wand," he explained. "It's not about that. It's never been about that...I've always been completely open about my past...I've been talking about it for over 25 years, since I've been in the public eye."

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He concluded, "I'm just committed to making sure that I've paid for my mistakes and...hopefully help kids avoid making those mistakes."