"I don't take pride in hurting Mr. Gibson," says the deputy who arrested him

By Stephen M. Silverman
August 01, 2006 09:15 AM

As controversy rages over whether police tried to cover up anti-Semitic remarks Mel Gibson allegedly made after his Friday arrest, the officer who detained him says he didn’t want to harm Gibson’s career.

“I don’t take pride in hurting Mr. Gibson,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee told the Associated Press Monday. “What I had hoped out of this is that he would think twice before he gets behind the wheel of a car and was drinking. That would be my hope that this would accomplish that. I don’t want to ruin his career. I don’t want to defame him in any way or hurt him.”

In a report posted on the Web site TMZ.com, Gibson is quoted as saying, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” and asking the arresting officer, “Are you a Jew?”

Mee, a 17-year Sheriff’s Department veteran who is Jewish, told the Associated Press, “That stuff is booze talking. If you are high-strung person, it’s going to amplify that and all the bad things are going to come out.”

On Saturday after his arrest, Gibson issued a statement apologizing for his behavior, and on Monday, Gibson’s rep announced that the actor had sought treatment for alcoholism.

The impact on Gibson’s career may have already begun. On Monday, ABC announced it had canceled plans for a miniseries about the Holocaust that Gibson’s Icon Productions had been developing.

“Given that it has been nearly two years and we have yet to see the first draft of a script, we have decided to no longer pursue this project with Icon,” the network said in a statement.

And on Sunday, talent agent Ari Emanuel, of the influential Endeavor agency, called for a boycott against Gibson in a posting on the Huffington Post blog. “People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him.”

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