Mel Gibson apologizes for anti-Semitic remarks

While intoxicated, Gibson reportedly said, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

mel gibson 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
mel gibson 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Australian movie star Mel Gibson issued a lengthy statement Saturday apologizing for saying "despicable" things to sheriff's deputies when he was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol. The entertainment Web site TMZ posted what it said were four pages from the original arrest report, which quoted Gibson as launching an expletive-laden "barrage of anti-Semitic remarks" after he was stopped early Friday on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu while allegedly driving at almost twice the speed limit. "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," the actor-director said without elaborating. According to the report, in addition to threatening the arresting deputy and trying to escape, Gibson said, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked the officer, James Mee, "Are you a Jew?" Gibson publicist Alan Nierob would not comment on the incident beyond the written statement. Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Hocking said he could not confirm the TMZ report, and detectives would begin investigating Monday. Deputies at the Malibu sheriff's station referred calls to headquarters. Numerous calls to other sheriff's officials were not returned, and attempts to locate Mee, the deputy, were also unsuccessful. The Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site late Saturday that the sheriff's department's civilian oversight office will investigate whether authorities gave Gibson preferential treatment and tried to cover up his alleged behavior. Sheriff Lee Baca defended his department's handling of the case. "There is no cover-up," Baca told the Times. "Our job is not to (focus) on what he said. It's to establish his blood-alcohol level when he was driving and proceed with the case. Trying someone on rumor and innuendo is no way to run an investigation, at least one with integrity." In his statement, Gibson apologized for what he called "my belligerent behavior" when he was taken into custody. "The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person," he said. "I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry. I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse." He said he was taking "necessary steps to ensure my return to health." Gibson, 50, was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2:36 a.m. Friday. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies clocked him doing 87 miles per hour (140 kilometers per hour in a 45 mph (72 kph) zone. A breath test indicated Gibson's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent, Whitmore said. The legal limit in California is 0.08 percent. The actor-director posted $5,000 (€4,000) bail and was released at 9:45 a.m. Gibson won a best-director Oscar for 1995's "Braveheart" and had a 2004 religious blockbuster with "The Passion of the Christ," which many Jewish groups said contained anti-Semitic overtones. He also starred in the "Lethal Weapon" and "Mad Max" films, "What Women Want" and "The Man Without a Face," among other movies.