Scandalous Details About Mel Gibson's Personal Life

There is no doubt Mel Gibson is one of Hollywood's biggest actors and filmmakers. He is known for his ability to perform in a variety of movies, ranging from action flicks like "Lethal Weapon" to rom-coms like "What Women Want." He also has directed award-winning films that include "Braveheart" and "The Passion of the Christ." Gibson's career in film spans over five decades. However, despite his prolific career in the entertainment industry, his accomplishments have been tainted by his bad reputation for being sexist, antisemitic, racist, and homophobic. 

Since becoming a prominent actor in Hollywood, Gibson has occasionally said questionable things, but nothing compared to his behavior during an arrest in 2006. Gibson's drunken behavior was abhorrent, and he used extremely offensive language as he berated the arresting officer. The release of the police report from the arrest and a domestic violence incident between him and former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva changed the path of the actor's career for years to come. 

Here's a look at Gibson's most scandalous details from his personal life.

The DUI that changed everything

In the early morning of July 28, 2006, Mel Gibson was pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway for drunk driving, as reported by TMZ. At the time of the stop, Gibson was doing 87 mph in a 45 mph zone and had a blood alcohol level of .12, four points over the driving limit in California.

Celebrities, unfortunately, get arrested for DUIs all the time, but what made Gibson's stop newsworthy was his vitriolic remarks directed toward Jewish people. Per TMZ, the "Lethal Weapon" actor became increasingly irritated during the stop, tried to run away from the officer, and went into a racist rant about Jewish people, telling the cop, among other remarks, "F*****g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?"

Gibson was arrested and brought to the police station, where the remainder of the encounter was videotaped, documented, and made public. Gibson has since apologized for the incident but does stand firm in the fact that he was a victim too. He told Variety's "Playback" podcast in 2016, "I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit ... So, not fair."

He's reportedly made more antisemitic remarks over the years

Mel Gibson's 2006 DUI arrest was not the last time the actor made antisemitic remarks. In a 2010 interview with GQ, Winona Ryder revealed that she had a charged exchange at a party with a drunk Gibson, in which he asked her, "You're not an oven dodger, are you?" referring to crematoria that were used during the Holocaust.

This incredibly insensitive comment was just one of several he's made. According to Newsweek, Fox News reported in 2015 that Gibson, during an interview with Reader's Digest, raised doubts about the number of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust. "I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it's four. I mean it's that kind of numbers game," he claimed.

Gibson also feuded with "Basic Instinct" and "Flashdance" screenwriter Joe Eszterhas for, according to Eszterhas, sabotaging a film the two were going to make about a Jewish revolt against the Romans in ancient Judea. In a letter penned to Gibson, Eszterhas wrote (via The Guardian), "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews. You continually called Jews 'Hebes' and 'oven-dodgers' and 'Jewboys.' It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked 'He's a Hebe, isn't he?'"

Regarding the accusations, Gibson has repeatedly disputed the claims and alleged that they are false.

His turbulent relationship with Oksana Grigorieva

Antisemitic remarks are enough to tarnish a person's career, but when domestic violence gets thrown into the mix, reputations are transformed forever. Around the time of his separation from Robyn Moore, Mel Gibson went public with his relationship with Russian songwriter Oksana Grigorieva in 2009. The couple very soon after welcomed a daughter, Lucia Gibson, on October 31, 2009. As quickly as the pair's relationship took off, it crashed and burned in front of the public eye.

On June 25, 2010, Grigorieva filed a restraining order against Gibson following an altercation in which Grigorieva alleges that Gibson punched her repeatedly, broke a tooth, and gave her a concussion. After the fight and in the midst of their separation, Grigorieva secretly recorded a number of phone calls from Gibson that included threatening language, derogatory comments, and racist slurs, all directed at Grigorieva from Gibson (you can read the transcript of the call on Salon).

Gibson offered Grigorieva $15 million to keep the tapes private, but she ultimately refused the deal. As far as a defense goes, the "Braveheart" actor admitted to slapping Grigorieva, but only to "bring her back to reality" during a meltdown and prevent her from harming their young child. After a bitter custody battle, the two eventually settled in 2011, and Gibson agreed to pay Grigorieva $750,000, under the condition that she could not write or speak about their relationship (though she later did).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Racism and sexism are also a part of Gibson's past

Given Mel Gibson's history with antisemitism and domestic violence, it is no surprise that he has also made racist and sexist comments over the years. In the midst of the fallout of his relationship with Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson harassed Grigorieva via phone, text, and email by making several lewd comments about her appearance, as well as racist remarks. In the released tapes, Gibson yelled at Grigorieva over her alleged fake breasts, telling her that, "they look like some Vegas b***h, they look like a Vegas wh**e."

During his heated taped exchanges with Grigorieva, Gibson was also caught going on a racist rant. Claiming that former girlfriend dressed provocatively, "The Patriot" actor said, "You look like a f**king b***h in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n*****s it'll be your fault. All right? Because you provoked it."

Along with his comments to Grigorieva, Gibson has also come under fire in general for sexist comments that range from calling a female sergeant "sugar t*ts" during his DUI arrest to telling Playboy in 1995 that he doesn't like feminists because, "I don't get their point."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Gibson was exposed for being homophobic

Outside of his racist and antisemitic remarks, Mel Gibson has also made offensive comments about gay people. Columnist Liz Smith reported on derogatory comments Gibson made to El Pais, a Spanish newspaper, in 1991. Along with making suggestive comments about gay sex, the "Hacksaw Ridge" director also said, "With this look, who's going to think I'm gay? I don't lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I look like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?"

Gibson's history with homophobia in the 1990s continued, and Winona Ryder recalled to GQ in 2010 that during Gibson's antisemitic exchange with the actor, he also made a disrespectful comment toward her friend. "We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends ... And Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar ... and he said to my friend, who's gay, 'Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?'" Ryder explained. To this day, Gibson alleges Ryder is lying about everything, and his rep told Entertainment Tonight in a 2020 statement, "He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him."

In addition to the comments Gibson has made himself, he was also criticized for the depiction of a gay character in his 1995 film, "Braveheart." As shared by Variety, at the time GLAAD called the portrayal, "a typical homophobic caricature," and Gibson later met with the organization to discuss the matter.

His controversies led to him being 'blacklisted' from Hollywood

Following his controversies, Mel Gibson was essentially blacklisted from Hollywood. The actor, who was one of the biggest stars in the 1980s and 1990s, only acted in six films between 2006 and 2016.

Despite this, the actor has had a number of people rallying for a comeback. Journalist Allison Weiner wrote a lengthy essay in 2014 for Deadline asking Hollywood to forgive Gibson. "On the occasion of this 10th anniversary of 'Passion,' a film about an innocent man's willingness to forgive the greatest injustice, I propose to Hollywood that it's time to forgive Mel Gibson." 

In a similar fashion, "Lethal Weapon" writer Shane Black defended Gibson and advocated for his return, telling Business Insider in 2016, "I think he's essentially been blacklisted in the industry ... I think he's a good guy. I just don't believe in holding anyone accountable for something that they say while they're drunk." Though he appreciates the support, Gibson doesn't understand why he was blacklisted in the first place, saying in an interview, "And forgive what to begin with? What are they asking for? It's almost like can you please forgive me for what? What did I do, really?"

Of course, he hasn't been completely blacklisted — Gibson's film "Hacksaw Ridge" was nominated for six Oscars in 2016 (including best picture), winning for best film editing and best sound mixing. As an actor, the controversial figure seems to be making a comeback in Hollywood. In the year 2022 alone, he appeared in seven films, including "Father Stu" and "Bandit."

He welcomed his ninth child at 61

Mel Gibson's personal life has been filled with scandal and controversy, and the actor once again garnered attention in 2016 after media outlets broke the news that the actor, then 60 years old, was expecting a child with his much younger girlfriend, Rosalind Ross

Gibson, already a father of eight at the time, was excited about the new baby, with a source telling People in 2016, "Mel loves being a dad and he and Rose can't wait to be parents together. The last two years have been some of his happiest years he's ever had."

The "Edge of Darkness" star was first linked to Ross, a writer and champion equestrian vaulter, in July 2015. The two welcomed their son, Lars Gerard, on January 20, 2017. "They're thrilled and Lars is adorable. Their family is all around them and Mel is over the moon," an insider revealed to People. Though Gibson and Ross have been private about their relationship and life as parents, the two appear to still be together as of 2023.