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Mel Gibson is an American-Australian (he holds dual Irish and American citizenship) actor who gained international recognition with his starring roles in the Mad Max series. Gibson's first Hollywood blockbuster came with his performance in 1989's buddy cop movie Lethal Weapon, ushering in a decade of consistent hits and making him one of cinema's most valuable actors.
Biography and actingBorn Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York he was the sixth of eleven children and moved with his family to Australia when he was 12. He studied to be a stage actor at Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Arts and was cast in several plays and two local movies, Summer City and Tim, the latter of which he received an Australian Film Institute Award for best actor. He gained some notoriety internationally for his performance in Mad Max and significant fame in Australia for his role in Gallipoli, the story of Australian soldiers in WWI at the Battle of the Nek. Gibson's performance in the post-apocalyptic action movie The Road Warrior made him a star on the international level and proved to be just what he needed to break into Hollywood. After filming the buddy cop blockbuster Lethal Weapon alongside Danny Glover Gibson became a household name in America.
After finishing out the 1980s with a string of financially successful movies Gibson used his weight as a hit-maker to alternate between commercial titles and personal projects, branching out into producing by creating Icon Productions and trying his hand at directing. His directorial debut was 1993's The Man Without a Face, followed by his blockbuster hit Braveheart, which won him an Oscar for best director. Although he stated in 2002 that he would not act again Gibson starred in Edge of Darkness in 2010. Over the years Gibson's film projects and personal beliefs have become objects of controversy: his movie The Passion of the Christ was labeled anti-Semitic, as were comments made to police officers in 2006; he has two DUI arrests and a previous alcohol problem; and he has made several homophobic remarks in the past.
ControversyIt can be said that Mel Gibson is known most for his controversial statement and actions these days. Controversy seems to follow him everywhere.
FamilyMel Gibson met his ex-wife Robyn Denise Moore in the late 70s, just after filming Mad Max. They were married for 26 years and separated in August 2006. Robyn then filed for divorce on April 13, 2009. Gibson made the statement that "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so." It is said that the relationship fell apart due to photographs of Mel embracing another woman on a beach.
The woman in question was Oksana Grigorieva, she was a Russian Pianist and an artist on Gibson's record label. They had one child together named Lucia. Gibson and Grigorieva ended the relationship in April 2010; claims of domestic violence were made and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched a domestic violence investigation. They both filed for restraining orders against each other.
In July of 2010 a recording of a drunk phone call was suggested to have been released, revealing that Gibson had said that if she (Grigorieva) was "raped by a pack of n*****s" she would be to blame. However, Gibson’s ex wife Robyn Denise Moore filed a statement saying that she never experienced any abuse from Gibson and forensic scientists have questioned the validity of the tape.
Homophobia Gibson was accused of making derogatory comments about homosexuals in 1991 by the The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAA.) He was quoted in the Spanish newspaper El País saying “They take it up the ass, this [pointing to his butt] is only for taking a shit. With this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? I don’t lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I look like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?” He later defended what he had said and refused to apologise, however when asked about it in 1999 he said "I shouldn't have said it, but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview, and the quote came back to bite me on the ass."
RacismGibson was accused of making racist comments against Latinos, he used the turn "wetbacks" and it is suggested that he attempted to turn one of his employees in to the immigration authorities.
Alcohol abuseGibson has admitted to drinking from the age of 13, and was quoted saying "I had really good highs but some very low lows. I found out recently I'm manic depressive." He took some time off from acting in 1991 and sought professional help. It was leaked that he was attending AA meetings, and that he had said "Alcoholism is something that runs in my family. It's something that's close to me. People do come back from it, and it's a miracle." He confided in Lethal Weapon 2 director Richard Donner that he was drinking five pints of beer for breakfast.
He was banned from driving in 1984 after rear-ending a car, in Toronto, while under the influence of alcohol. He had a second DUI offence on July 28, 2006. He was pulled over for speeding and found with an open container of alcohol. It was then leaked that Gibson made disparaging remarks to the arresting officer, saying that"F***ing Jews...the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." He gave two public apologise for this after admitting that the leaked information was true. He said it was "despicable" behaviour, saying the comments were "blurted out in a moment of insanity” and asked to meet with Jewish leaders to help him." He was sentenced to three years of probation, and was ordered to attend self-help meetings five times a week for four and a half months and three times a week for the remainder of the first year of his probation. He was also ordered to attend a First Offenders Program, was fined $1,300, and his license was restricted for 90 days.