- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 29, 2006

LOS ANGELES (Agence France-Presse) — Hollywood star Mel Gibson apologized yesterday for a drunken-driving arrest as well as for unspecified “despicable” statements he made during the episode.

Mr. Gibson, 50, a devout Catholic whose 2004 epic “The Passion of the Christ” depicted the final hours of the life of Jesus, was arrested on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., at 2:30 a.m. Friday driving at almost twice the speed limit, police officials said.

A Breathalyzer test indicated the alcohol level in his blood was 0.12 percent, while the legal limit in California is 0.08 percent.

“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,” Mr. Gibson said in a statement released to “Access Hollywood,” a celebrity television show.

“I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone who I have offended,” said the Oscar-winning actor and film director.

There was no explanation to what statements Mr. Gibson was referring, and the sheriff’s department declined to offer any clarification.

But TMZ.com, a celebrity Web site, posted what it said was a report by the arresting officer. It said Mr. Gibson behaved in a rowdy manner and unleashed a barrage of profane anti-Semitic statements during his arrest.

According to the report,the actor said, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

The sheriff’s department would not confirm or deny the authenticity of a four-page handwritten police report posted by TMZ.com.

“We have not released the report to the media,” said Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schrader.

In his statement, Mr. Gibson acknowledged that he had been drinking alcohol on Thursday night and “did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed.”

He said he had battled alcoholism for all of his adult life and profoundly regretted the relapse.

“I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry,” the actor said, adding that he had taken unspecified steps to ensure his return to health.

The American-born, Australian-raised actor first gained recognition in the “Mad Max” films and won Academy Awards for best picture and best director for his 1995 epic “Braveheart” about the struggle for Scottish independence in the Middle Ages.

Mr. Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ” stirred a heated debate in the United States and abroad.

Despite receiving harsh criticism for anti-Semitism and excessive violence, the film became the highest grossing R-rated picture to date.

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