At times it seems that everything about Mel Gibson is oversized: his sex appeal, his box-office muscle, his faith and yes, his family.
For the last two-plus decades, the Gibsons have boasted a unique Hollywood brood – an eldest daughter, followed by what their father has described as “six able-bodied boys.” The Gibsons pride themselves on raising their kids on church and family – and a healthy dose of discipline from their mom.
“Their kids are not in any way spoiled brats,” a source close to the family tells PEOPLE. “All the kids had to work if they wanted money.” Adds a Malibu neighbor, “They’re a rowdy bunch, but also nice – very ‘Yes, sir, no, sir,’ which you don’t get a lot of around here.”
Their eldest, Hannah, 28, is very much the apple of her mother’s eye. Like Robyn, she married an entertainer: blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 31, who tied the knot with Hannah in a June 2006 traditional ceremony at her father’s church high above Los Angeles. The Sheppards have two children, the second one born earlier this year.
Lively Young Men
After Hannah came twins Edward and Christian, 26, who like their sister were born in Australia – and, like their father, have run into trouble for being a bit too much the life of party. In 2005, while a student at the University of Colorado, Christian was arrested for DUI. In 2007, Edward, who at one point considered Nick Nolte’s son Brawley one of his close friends, reportedly entered rehab.
Next came William, known in the family as Willie, 24, followed by Louis, 21, and then Milo, 19, a recent graduate of Malibu High.
The interests of the Gibson boys include skating, surfing and hunting. They regularly attend Lakers games when the team is in town, and they also tend to follow their father’s more conservative political leanings: on Facebook, Milo Gibson is a member of One Million Strong Against Hillary [Clinton].
The lone minor among the Gibson clan is Thomas, who turned 10 the day after his mother filed for divorce. According to friends, the Gibsons have worked hard to keep the confusion and increased scrutiny of their impending divorce from being disruptive to their youngest son, for whom Robyn Gibson is seeking joint custody.
• 2006: Mel ‘deeply ashamed’ for anti-Semitic remarks
• 2004: Mel talks faith and The Passion of the Christ