Mel Gibson says he drank alcohol the morning after his July 28 arrest for driving under the influence.
After he was released by Malibu police, “I just went home and saw my kids were there. You know, I talked to them for a little bit. And it was a little rough that morning. I chased it down with a few cold ones,” the actor-filmmaker, 50, tells Diane Sawyer in a two-part interview that will conclude Friday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“It was kind of unbearable to face,” Gibson admits, according to a partial transcripts of his comments released by ABC. “I said, ‘Well, this is it. This will be the end of it, but I just have to get through this morning.’ You’re not operating well, but you know you have to do something. I wasn’t flashing it in front of them or anything.”
He also says he slicked his hair back before having his mug shot taken – thinking of Nick Nolte’s famously disheveled look in the photo taken after his own DUI arrest in Malibu. “I did my best with a finger combing in the water fountain, to sort of like splash a little water on my face, to not take one of those hideous mug shots, because I knew it would be around,” he says. “Vanity won out.”
The day before his early-morning arrest, Gibson says, he went to work, then saw a screening of a friend’s movie. However, he says, “I guess I must have been a little overwrought. Too much pressure, too much work. You do things that go against good judgment. A few drinks later, and I was in the back of a police car wailing.”
Gibson admits he was drinking in the car before he was stopped. “It’s not a question of how drunk you are. You’re impaired,” he says. “Your judgment is impaired enough to do insane things like try and drive at high speeds.”
As a result, he says, “Even a couple of drinks, you know, you lose all humility, all everything, and you just become a braggart and a blowhard.”
After being pulled over, Gibson asked arresting officer James Mee, “Are you a Jew?” and then said, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Gibson tells Sawyer he “found out later” that Mee is Jewish. At the time, he says, “I didn’t know if he was or wasn’t. I mean, I said horrible things to him and he was pretty patient.”
Gibson admits that what he said was anti-Semitic. “It sounds horrible, and I’m ashamed of that. That came out of my mouth. And I’m not that. That’s not who I am, you know,” he says.
Asked what he might have said had the policeman been black, Gibson says, “I’d have to get loaded and tell you. And then be in those conditions again. Because it’s unpredictable what’s gonna come flying out.”
Gibson admits he deals with an inexplicable inner rage. “I’ve been angry all my life. And I try not to have it manifest itself,” he says. “I can get really mad. I can murder inanimate objects. You should see me choking the toaster in the morning.”