"He did hurt me, but my left eye was already gone," Johnny Trinh told the Daily Mail in an interview published Thursday. "He was not responsible for that."
For the Record
Dec. 11, 3:13 p.m.: In a previous version of this post, Johnny Trinh's last name was misspelled as Trihn.
Wahlberg, who was 16 at the time of the assault and spent 45 days of a two-year sentence in prison for the felony, recently submitted a petition to have the conviction removed from his record.
Seems the errant blinding allegation arose because Trinh, 59, had lost his left eye previously during the war in Vietnam. Trinh -- born Hoa Trinh and now a resident of Arlington, Texas -- left Vietnam in 1980 after the communist takeover, the Mail said.
He said he lost the eye in a 1975 grenade explosion while he was with the South Vietnamese army.
During the assault in Boston, Wahlberg punched Trinh in the eye after first hitting another Vietnamese man in the head with a large stick and hurling racial slurs.
"He was young and reckless but I forgive him now," said Trinh, who did not know his assailant wound up a famous movie star. "Everyone deserves another chance."
"I would like to see him get a pardon. He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer."
At the premiere of "The Gambler" on Wednesday in New York, Wahlberg told the Associated Press that he was seeking the pardon for multiple reasons but in "no way, shape or form" did he think his celebrity alone was a reason for it to be granted.
"I've worked really hard to be a positive influence to kids growing up in communities like mine, who don't really have a chance ...," he said. "So that's why I'm doing it."