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Published: Monday, 7/31/2006

Report cites Gibson s anti-Semitic remarks, threat to deputy

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mel Gibson Mel Gibson
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LOS ANGELES An official police report on Mel Gibson s arrest on drunken driving charges substantiates claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened a deputy, a law enforcement official said today.

Today, Sheriff s Department officials sent prosecutors their case, which also says a tequila bottle was found in Gibson s car when he was pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Gibson had released a lengthy statement Saturday apologizing for saying despicable things to sheriff s deputies when he was arrested, but he did not elaborate. The entertainment Web site TMZ.com had reported that the sheriff s department was considering eliminating the anti-Semitic remarks from its official report.

The report forwarded to prosecutors cites Gibson as making disparaging comments about Jews, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

TMZ reported that Gibson said, The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world, and asked the arresting officer, Are you a Jew?

The district attorney s office confirmed prosecutors had received the case and it was under review. A tentative arraignment date was set for Sept. 28.

A sheriff s spokesman today defended the department s handling of the case.

In that case file will be (Gibson s) statement, will be our report, will be everything pertinent to his blood-alcohol level. We have done our job, sheriff s spokesman Steve Whitmore told reporters Monday at department headquarters. We hope we ve done it with not only professionalism and intelligence, but held to the highest standard of legal and moral imperative.

The Sheriff s Department, he said, was convinced because of our investigation and because of his own self-illuminating statement that he will be convicted of driving under the influence.

In his statement, Gibson said he has struggled with alcoholism and taken steps to ensure my return to health.

The actor was participating in an ongoing program to deal with this, Gibson s publicist, Alan Nierob told The Associated Press today. The guy is trying to stay alive.

The questions about whether police were covering up Gibson s remarks came partly because Gibson has a relationship with Sheriff Lee Baca. He has dressed in a sheriff s uniform to film public service announcements for Baca s Star Organization, a charity group that raises scholarships for children of department employees. Gibson also donated $10,000, Whitmore said.

Gibson was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2:36 a.m. Friday. 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 percent, Whitmore said. In California, a driver is legally intoxicated at 0.08 percent.

Gibson posted $5,000 bail and was released hours later.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Gibson s apology unremorseful and insufficient. Prominent Hollywood talent agent Ari Emanuel called for an industry boycott of Gibson in a blog posted today.

At a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements, he wrote. People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line.

There are times in history when standing up against bigotry and racism is more important than money.

This is not the first time Gibson has faced accusations of anti-Semitism. Gibson produced, directed and financed The Passion of the Christ, which some Jewish leaders said cast Jews as the killers of Jesus. Days before Passion was released, Gibson s father, Hutton Gibson, was quoted as saying the Holocaust was mostly fiction.

Gibson, 50, won a best-director Oscar for 1995 s Braveheart, and starred in the Lethal Weapon and Mad Max films, among others.

In recent years, he has turned his attention to producing films and TV shows through his Icon Productions. The hundreds of millions of dollars he made producing the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ has given the star the ability to finance his own films, giving him a measure of independence from the major studios.

His next movie is Apocalypto, about the decline of the Mayan empire. It is being distributed by The Walt Disney Co.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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