Gibson ashamed of anti-Semitic outburst

Reports of a drunken outburst following his arrest for driving offences in Los Angeles have again raised questions of anti-Jewish prejudice in Mel Gibson's film The Passion of Christ.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Jewish groups yesterday called for superstar Mel Gibson to be ostracised from Hollywood and investigated for any breach of race hate laws after his alleged drunken anti-Semitic outburst to an Los Angeles police officer.

The calls follow revelations that an intoxicated Gibson sprayed sheriff's deputy James Mee with abuse when the actor was pulled over for drink driving on Friday.

The alleged outburst was reportedly covered up by senior police in Los Angeles County over concerns it was "way too inflammatory" due to the violence in the Middle East.

According to a police report leaked to an Los Angeles website, Gibson said to his arresting officer: "F...ing Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." He then asked the deputy: "Are you a Jew?"

Gibson, who was accused of anti-Semitism in his film The Passion of the Christ, yesterday issued an apology and a retraction of his remarks, reportedly captured on tape.

The film, the massive commercial success of which cemented Gibson's place as a Hollywood powerbroker, was controversial in part because Jewish groups claim was anti-Semitism.

Also it was revealed that the director's father, Hutton Gibson, had made statements denying the Holocaust, calling it "mostly" fiction.

"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable," Gibson said. "I am deeply ashamed of everything I said."

Deputy James Mee's original arrest report was withheld from reporters by the Los Angeles County sheriff's department, however four pages were leaked yesterday to a Los Angeles gossip website.

Gibson, who was named as the world's most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine in 2004, was initially co-operative with police. However he apparently became belligerent when he realised that he was about to be arrested.

Gibson, 50, was arrested after deputies stopped his car for speeding along the Pacific Highway towards his $31.5m beachfront mansion in Malibu. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies had clocked the actor travelling at 139km/h in a 70km/h zone.

A breath test indicated Gibson's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 per cent. The legal limit in California is 0.08 per cent. A three-quarters-full bottle of tequila was found on the backseat of the car.

At one point Gibson allegedly tried to escape and then had to be handcuffed.

"You mother f...er, I'm going to f... you. You're going to regret you ever did this to me," he is recorded as saying.

Deputy Mee also said Gibson "continually threatened me saying he 'owned Malibu' and will use his money to get even with me", before beginning his anti-Semitic "barrage".

Deputy Mee wrote a full report describing Gibson's behaviour and alleged anti-Semitic statements but superiors decided it was "inflammatory" and asked the officer to rewrite it.

Gibson was cited for suspicion of drink driving. He was released about five hours after his arrest, posting $6600 bail. Prosecutors will decide this week whether to charge Gibson.

Gibson 'should be banned' (News.com.au, 31/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mel Gibson (Wikipedia)
Police Report on Mel Gibson's arrest (Digital City)

The Passion: "This could be a career killer!" says Mel Gibson (CathNews, 14/1/04)
Vatican ends controversy on Mel Gibson film publicity (CathNews, 23/1/04)
Mel Gibson Jesus film antagonising Jewish groups (CathNews, 14/3/03)
Cult slur angers Mel Gibson (CathNews, 10/3/03)

Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade -- Alleged Cover Up (In the Zone, 28/7/06)

31 Jul 2006