Mel Gibson has been battling his inner demons publicly for many years and that led to him being shut out from Hollywood.
Trigger warning: Racist and abusive language
There are some celebrities who have gained name and fame but that doesn't make them the best people. They may have had a hard past but instead of learning from it and becoming people who lift others up they choose to use their position in negative ways.
Mel Gibson was once hailed for making movies like Braveheart and The Patriot. He had become an A-lister but his career took a dive when he was involved in a slew of DUIs and other incidents like an anti-Semitic rant as well as racist remarks against his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of one of his nine children, as per Variety. His career was also affected by his addiction and he claims that he started drinking at the age of 13.
"The answer’s not in a bottle. It’s not in a prescription med or any of that sort of stuff. Some people need to use that stuff. I don’t. But it’s a higher thing. You have to get some kind of philosophical, spiritual level to deal with the knocks," he said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Born in 1956, he was the sixth child in a family with 11 children. His parents, Hutton and Ann Gibson, are Roman Catholics of Irish descent. They relocated to Australia when the Vietnam War started so the Gibson boys won't get drafted, as per Biography.com. He started his acting career in Sydney and then moved to the US again. He was married to Robyn Moore from 1980 to 2009. They have seven children together.
The first time he faced a ban from driving was in 1984 when he crashed his car in Toronto, Canada in a drunken state. After that, he took a few years to himself to battle his demons but his struggle continued. He has said that he used to drink five pints of beer with breakfast, as per News.com.au. Then in the early 1990s, he had to go on a break once again and this time he sought professional help. However, that too didn't set him off on a straight path.
In 2006, he was caught driving under the influence in California. When he was arrested he unleashed an anti-Semitic rant towards the officer who was taking him into custody. "F***ing Jews," Gibson yelled. "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?" he said.
When he was charged, he pleaded no contest, and only after the report was leaked did he apologize for his "despicable" behavior. However, this wasn't the only time that he used verbal abuse against one community. Actress Winona Ryder had claimed in the 1990s and repeated it again several years later that he called her an "oven-dodger," a reference to the Holocaust, and made homophobic comments about her friend, according to Variety. The Hacksaw Ridge director denied the claims.
Apart from this, in 2010, tapes of him going on a racist rant were leaked, as per RadarOnline. The tape that was leaked was from an argument with his then-girlfriend. At one point, he said, "You’re an embarrassment to me." There are many more explicit and sexist words he used against her, who is the mother of one of his kids. At another point during the argument, he said, "How dare you act like such a b**** when I have been so f**king nice."
He also threatened to burn down her home and Grigorieva, a Russian singer-songwriter, accused him of domestic violence when she took out a restraining order. It left her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which she claimed in legal documents.
"Oksana’s motivation for recording this was to show Mel how mean he was, and because she feared for her life," said a source close to the situation. "She wanted to get evidence that he was dangerous and violent," they added.
Later, the felony charge of domestic violence was dropped, but he did plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battering her, as per News.com.au. His erratic and violent behavior got him blacklisted from the top jobs in Hollywood which he had previously had the privilege of picking from.
He had only just made a comeback when the voicemails to his former partner were revealed. After the legal cases, he returned to years of being away from the public eye until 2016, when his movie Hacksaw Ridge was released. However, more and more people are questioning why he was allowed to make a comeback.
In an interview, he was asked if his troubles were at an end. "Hey, we’ve all got troubles, all the time, every day, in some form or another. That’s life. It’s how you deal with them. You can’t let them get to you too much. I have a sense of ease, I think, which is good. Because you’ve got to be good to yourself, right? If you’re not good to yourself, it’s not going to radiate onto anyone else," he said, as per The Sydney Morning Herald.