The West

Newton drug free
Matthew Newton

Actor Matthew Newton is living free of all drugs after being released from a treatment clinic in the US, his lawyer has told a Sydney magistrate.

Chris Murphy told Downing Centre Local Court yesterday that Newton, right, had been diagnosed with a range of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and social phobia.

He said Newton's family put the actor in a clinic in the US on May 3 where, over 84 days of treatment, he was weaned off all legally prescribed drugs he had been taking during the past couple of years.

"Now he is totally free of all drugs," Mr Murphy told the court, adding that the actor was slim and "different".

Newton, the son of show-business couple Bert and Patti Newton, is charged with punching taxi driver Mohsen Khayami in the neck and head at Crows Nest in northern Sydney on December 4.

The 35-year-old later moved to the US to escape media and public attention. He was charged with resisting a police officer and trespassing at the popular Miami watering hole, Mr Moe's Restaurant and Bar, on April 6.

Two weeks later he was charged with battery and resisting arrest without violence after he allegedly confronted a hotel clerk.

He has pleaded not guilty to all four US charges.

Mr Murphy said Newton's court case in the US had been adjourned until September 18.

He asked that the former Underbelly star appear via audio video link in Sydney after that hearing to provide a new treatment plan under the Mental Health Act.

"There is no doubt that your client is unwell," deputy chief magistrate Jane Mottley said.

The case was adjourned until September 26.

The West Australian

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