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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Gibson admits anti-Jewish remarks
Mel Gibson booking photo
Police released a mug shot of Mel Gibson after his arrest
Film-maker Mel Gibson has admitted making anti-Semitic remarks during his drink-driving arrest - but has said they do not reflect his true feelings.

"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark," he said in a statement.

"Please know from my heart I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith."

The 50-year-old issued an apology to "everyone in the Jewish community".

He also asked to meet Jewish leaders in order to have "a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing".

The Oscar-winning director was stopped early on Friday after driving at 87mph in a 45mph zone in Malibu, California.

I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display
Mel Gibson

During his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, he made what he has described as "vitriolic and harmful" statements to officer James Mee.

"I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display," he said.

He conceded that he had offended the Jewish community and asked them to help him on his "journey through recovery".

"I am a public person, and when I say something... my words carry weight in the public arena," he said.

"I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologise directly to those who have been hurt and offended."

Widespread criticism

Mr Gibson repeated an earlier statement given by his publicist Alan Nierob saying he had begun "an ongoing programme of recovery".

"What I am now realising is that I cannot do it alone."

Reports of his anti-Semitic remarks have provoked widespread criticism and a Holocaust mini-series his production company Icon was developing with the ABC TV network has been cancelled.

But an ABC spokesman declined to discuss whether the decision was related to the film-maker's arrest or comments.

The entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements
Ari Emanuel, talent agent

In an earlier statement, Mr Gibson put his "belligerent" behaviour down to a "horrific relapse" in his battle with alcoholism.

Influential talent agent Ari Emanuel has called for the movie community to boycott his future projects.

"At a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements," he wrote on the Huffington Post weblog.

The star of the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon films won a best director Oscar for his 1995 film Braveheart, in which he also starred.

His new film Apocalypto is due to be released in the US on 8 December.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Details of Mel Gibson's latest statement



SEE ALSO
Mel Gibson's statement in full
01 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Hollywood reacts to Gibson furore
01 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Mel Gibson's controversial career
01 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Gibson 'outburst' under spotlight
31 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Drink-driving Gibson says sorry
30 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Gibson arrested for drink-driving
28 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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