Posted on Fri Apr 22, 2011 09:10 AM PDT
Mel Gibson has spoken out for the first time since last summer, when recordings of him yelling racial slurs at his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva were released and he was accused of physically abusing her.
Deadline ran the exclusive interview, but we've broken it down for you into the most telltale bits below.
When asked about the leaked tapes and whether he is racist, Gibson said:
- "Iâ€™ve never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality -- period. I donâ€™t blame some people for thinking that though, from the garbage they heard on those leaked tapes, which have been edited. You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship. Itâ€™s one terribly, awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day and doesnâ€™t represent what I truly believe or how Iâ€™ve treated people my entire life."
Gibson spoke about the charges that he hit Grigorieva.
- "I was allowed to end the case and still maintain my innocence. Itâ€™s called a West plea and itâ€™s not something that prosecutors normally allow. But in my case, the prosecutors and the judge agreed that it was the right thing to do. I could have continued to fight this for years and it probably would have come out fine. But I ended it for my children and my family. This was going to be such a circus. You donâ€™t drag other people in your life through this sewer needlessly, so Iâ€™ll take the hit and move on."
Read what Gibson had to say on the future of his career, depression and his current relationship with his family after the jump.
Gibson's next movie, The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster, is coming out May 6 after many delays. So far, it's gotten mostly positive reviews.
Gibson talked to Deadline about whether he thinks his career can be salvaged.
- "I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t know. â€¦ The next movie Iâ€™m in is How I Spent My Summer Vacation and it will have a distributor because weâ€™re in the business of entertainment. ... I donâ€™t care if I donâ€™t act anymore. I could easily not act again. Itâ€™s not a problem. Iâ€™m going to do something now because I want to do it and because itâ€™s fun."
Whoopi Goldberg and Jodie Foster were among the few people in Hollywood to defend Gibson since the scandal broke. The actors says he's alright with that.
- "That doesnâ€™t bother me. Why would anyone want to speak publicly and drag themselves through this crap? It seems to add fuel to the fire. Very many people are supportive, of course, but you find out who your friends are. I have many friends and theyâ€™ve been great."
Gibson said he's uncomfortable with fame, and doesn't think his personal life should be public.
- "Itâ€™s nobodyâ€™s business. It really isnâ€™t. Why is it? Why is it anyoneâ€™s business? I think it detracts from my business. Itâ€™s a change. And why is that of interest to anyone? It always baffles me. Why is that of interest to anyone? If people understood how mundane my life really is. Youâ€™re sort of thinking, who cares? Itâ€™s staggering. Itâ€™s a surprise to me. Itâ€™s just a life."
The actor also spoke about his battle with depression.
- "Everyone goes through low and high and low and high and some people are blessed to be created on an even keel all the way throughâ€”but not me."
Gibson talked about going out in public since the scandal.
- "Yeah, it happens sometimes. You ainâ€™t seen much of me recently. Itâ€™s doable. Yeah, I go out. I do what I need to do. Life goes on. Itâ€™s part of your job to be out there. But there are aspects that you donâ€™t necessarily want and sometimes they are completely unavoidable. You get blindsided and try to deal with it in a pragmatic way."
The actor says his biggest struggle has been the toll taken on his family.
- "The main thing is that it was terribly humiliating and painful for my family, all my kids. ... Yeah, we spoke. And I had to speak to them with everyone but my youngest who is blissfully unaware, thank God. Well, she may be aware of it one day, and at that time, I guess Iâ€™ll just address that. I spent thirty years keeping them away from this kind of thing and I was quite successful. So why should I start now dragging them through that stuff? You try to manage that."
What do you think of Mel's first interview? Will you go see his movies?
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