Matthew Newton has had an assault charge against him dismissed following a court hearing in Australia on Wednesday (September 26th). The actor, who stars in The Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, appeared in Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney via video link from the USA, where he now lives. He had been accused of punching a cab driver last December in the city, however Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson agreed for the charge to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act as Newton has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety.
Newton reportedly told the court he has since manage to turn his life around following 90 days of intensive treatment at the California rehabilitation clinic Betty Ford, and has now managed to conquer drug addiction and withdraw from the medication he was taking. Talking over the video link, he insisted "I felt like a different person off the medication. I feel like my eyes are open and I have a chance now." Part of the dismissal involves the actor agreeing to attend regular counselling sessions as well as submitting regular drug tests. Newton has also fallen foul of the law this year, being arrested twice in April, first for trespassing and resisting arrest, and second for battery and resisting arrest.