Mel Gibson recently turned to writer Joe Eszterhas (“Basic Instinct,” “Showgirls”) for a screenplay about the ancient Jewish revolt of the Maccabees. That project is now dead, and if allegations made by Eszterhas are true, that is certainly no surprise.
After a nine-page letter written by Eszterhas accusing Gibson of anti-Semitism surfaced on TheWrap.com on Wednesday, the writer spoke out regarding Gibson’s alleged behavior during a visit to the “Today” show on Friday.
“The most egregious episode had to do with my 15-year old son Nick… Mel shared with him a pornographic scenario that I could only call sexual butchery that he fantasized in terms of [ex-girlfriend] Oksana [Grigorieva],” he told Ann Curry via satellite on “Today.” “To put this kind of imagery into a 15-year-old boy’s head — I think it’s heinous, I think it’s vile and I think it’s unforgivable.”
That is just one of the incidents Eszterhas accuses Gibson of in the letter he wrote. The letter also includes a threat Gibson allegedly made against Grigorieva.
“You said you’d become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her,” the letter claims.
Eszterhas was working with the actor on a film script about the Jewish hero story of the Maccabees at Gibson’s Costa Rica home when the alleged rants — some anti-Semitic – occurred, and the writer claims he has proof.
“I have a tape that my 15-year-old son made in the middle of a violent harangue in Costa Rica, threatening harangue, where he said the vilest and threateningest [sic] things — he has it on his iPod because he was frightened about what was going to happen,” Eszterhas claimed on “Today.” “There are also witnesses. My wife was there, the house manager was there, the situation in Costa Rica was so bad that the help said to their kids, ‘Get out of the house and hide’ because he was so out of control.”
Gibson has denied Eszterhas’ accusations, responding with his own letter saying, “The great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications.”
He admitted he was passionate and intense because he was angry with Eszterhas’ lack of progress on the script.
“I did react more strongly than I should have. I promptly sent you a written apology, the colorful words of which you apparently now find offensive,” Gibson’s letter read. “In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time.”
This isn’t the first time Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitism — there was also Gibson’s Malibu DUI arrest in 2006 where, according to a police report, Gibson told officers, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
He later apologized.
As for whether Eszterhas plans to release the supposed video tape, he told Curry he “doesn’t know.”
“I’ll tell you this, in his response to me he said these are ‘utter fabrications’ and two paragraphs later he apologized, and said ‘I want to make a clear apology.’ If these are clear fabrications, why would he apologize?” he said, adding, “I don’t like to be called a liar.”