Hollywood star Mel Gibson has apologised for saying ”despicable” things to police officers when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
“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 in a statement without elaborating.
The entertainment website TMZ posted what it said were four pages from the original arrest report, in which Gibson allegedly made a “barrage of anti-Semitic remarks” after he was stopped early on Friday on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu while allegedly driving at almost twice the speed limit.
According to the report, in addition to threatening the arresting deputy and trying to escape, Gibson allegedly said, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” and asked the officer James Mee, “Are you a Jew?”
In his statement, Gibson apologised for what he called ”my belligerent behaviour” 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 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 said he was taking “necessary steps to ensure my return to health.”
Gibson’s 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 tomorrow.
The Los Angeles Times reported on its website late last night that the sheriff’s department’s civilian oversight office will investigate whether authorities gave Gibson preferential treatment and tried to cover up his alleged behaviour.
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 rumour and innuendo is no way to run an investigation, at least one with integrity.”
Gibson, 50, was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2.36am on Friday. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies clocked him doing 87mph in a 45mph zone.
A breath test indicated Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12%, Whitmore said. The legal limit in California is 0.08%.
The actor-director posted 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,” 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.