Mel Gibson to testify against Weinstein, antisemitism won't be discussed

Mel Gibson has a long history of antisemitic remarks, and this could lead to him perjuring against Jewish producer Harvey Weinstein in the sexual assault case, Weinstein's lawyer said.

89th Academy Awards - Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals - Hollywood, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 - Actor Mel Gibson (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)
89th Academy Awards - Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals - Hollywood, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 - Actor Mel Gibson
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)

Controversial Hollywood actor and director Mel Gibson will be allowed to testify against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, but the defense cannot ask the actor about his history of antisemitic statements, Variety reported Friday.

The ruling made by Judge Lisa B. Lench will see the prosecution call up Gibson in order to have him support the allegations of one of the women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault, the report stated.

However, while the defense will be allowed to ask if Gibson holds a grudge against the producer, they will not be allowed to ask about the actor's past scandals regarding racism and antisemitism.

Harvey Weinstein, Mel Gibson and antisemitism

Gibson has a long history of antisemitism accusations. This includes infamous remarks made in 2006 after his arrest, calling Jewish actress Wynona Rider an "oven dodger," as well as claims surrounding one of his most famous films, Passion of the Christ

In particular, Weinstein, who is Jewish, is known to have been highly critical of the film, and even wrote a book about it.

 Harvey Weinstein hearing in Los Angeles (credit: ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL VIA REUTERS) Harvey Weinstein hearing in Los Angeles (credit: ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL VIA REUTERS)

This, in particular, is something Weinstein's attorney, Mark Werksman, brought up to the judge, arguing that it sparked a feud between Gibson and Weinstein. 

According to Variety, Werksman asked to be allowed to confront Gibson about antisemitism. "He has a white-supremacist view," Werksman said. "Someone with white-supremacist values might have no problem perjuring himself against a Jewish defendant."

"He has a white-supremacist view. Someone with white-supremacist values might have no problem perjuring himself against a Jewish defendant."

Harvey Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman on Mel Gibson

However, Deputy District Attorney Marele Martinez argued that Gibson's antisemitic comments, while "despicable," have no relevance to the issue, according to the Associated Press.

Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo

Weinstein was convicted in 2020 in a New York court for rape and sexual assault and is currently on trial in Los Angeles for similar charges. These were all sparked by years of allegations against the Hollywood mogul by numerous women, which sparked the start of the #MeToo movement.

In this particular case that Gibson has been called to testify on, the accuser, a masseuse known only as Jane Doe No. 3, said that she gave Weinstein a massage in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2010, only for the producer, naked, to follow her into the bathroom and masturbate, accusations Weinstein has denied, according to the Associated Press.