Mel Gibson has fought alcoholism all his adult life, he admitted today.
The 50-year-old Catholic revealed he was an alcoholic during a lengthy apology for “despicable” anti-Semitic remarks made when he was arrested for drink driving.
In a long statement saying sorry for the way he spoke to deputies when he was arrested, he said: “I disgraced myself and my family with my behaviour 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 added that he was taking “necessary steps to ensure my return to health.”
“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 and “The Passion of the Christ” director said Saturday without elaborating.
Neither Gibson’s publicist, Alan Nierob, nor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would comment on what Gibson said when he was arrested early Friday on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Erickson declined to respond, saying the case was still under investigation.
However, the 50-year-old Oscar-winner, who is from an ultra-conservative Catholic family, is alleged to have told sheriff’s deputy James Mee: “F****** Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
It is claimed Gibson then asked: “Are you a Jew?’
The allegations were made by an American website, which claimed the comments were included in the report into the incident written by Mr Mee, the officer who arrested Gibson.
Gibson also apologised Saturday 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.
Gibson, 50, was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2.36am. Friday. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies clocked him doing 87 mph in a 45 mph zone.
A breath test indicated Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12 per cent, Whitmore said. The legal limit in California is 0.08 per cent.
The actor-director posted $5,000 bail and was released at 9.45am.
Gibson won a best-director Oscar for 1995’s “Braveheart” and had a 2004 religious blockbuster with “The Passion of the Christ.”
He also starred in the “Lethal Weapon” and “Mad Max” films, “What Women Want” and “The Man Without a Face,” among other movies.