The past is in the past for Mel Gibson.
The actor and director opened up to Australia’s Sunday Night Channel 7 about staying sober since his string of booze-fueled incidents and bigoted rants stemming from a decade ago, crediting Alcoholics Anonymous for helping him turn his life around.
“I am a member of [the] 12-step program and I achieved sobriety like that,” Gibson explained. “I’ve got 10 years of sobriety under my belt.”
The controversial 60-year-old actor’s prosperous Hollywood career came crashing down when his 2006 arrest for drunk driving and his following anti-Semitic tirade dominated headlines.
Things only got worse when ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva claimed in 2010 that Gibson had punched her and broke her teeth. She then released secretly recorded audio in which the Braveheart filmmaker went on another profanity-laced rant against Grigorieva – using the N-word and other derogatory phrases.
The actor admitted to slapping her, but claims it was done in order to stop her from shaking their then-1-year-old baby, Lucia. “I slapped Oksana one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality,” Gibson said. “I did not slap her hard. I was just trying to shock her so that she would stop screaming, continuing shaking Lucia back and forth.”
The court recently denied Grigorieva settlement money because she spoke out about the director’s alleged domestic abuse in an interview with Howard Stern in 2013.
Gibson now describes the outbursts against Grigorieva as the “worst moment” of his life, saying that what he did “wasn’t meant to be public.” “Imagine the worst moment you have even had being recorded and broadcast to the world, and it wasn’t meant to be public. You didn’t stand on a soapbox and do it, but that’s what happens,” he said.
Mel Gibson and pregnant girlfriend Rosalind Ross at the film’s Australian premiere in Sydney. (Photo: Brandon Voight / Splash News)
He says that his sobriety is constantly questioned by the media, but he insists that he won’t have a “pity party” about the past.
“It is disheartening when you’ve been 10 years dry, on the wagon — sober — and you have to read every year or so that you’re loaded,” he told Channel 7. “That’s disappointing because it’s like a public notice that you’re loaded, but you’re not. It’s a disingenuous reportage.”
Gibson recently returned to the director’s chair after a 10-year hiatus for the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge and is expecting his ninth child with girlfriend of two years Rosalind Ross.
The couple hit the red carpet together at the film’s premiere in Sydney on Sunday. Ross, 26, wore a fitted black dress with layered detailing that made it hard to spot a baby bump.