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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Gibson arrest 'handled correctly'
Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson has apologised for his comments
Mel Gibson's arrest on suspicion of drink-driving was handled correctly by sheriffs, a watchdog has said.

The Oscar-winning director made what he has said were "harmful" anti-Semitic comments when he was stopped for speeding in California, on Friday.

But a police spokesman initially said the arrest went "without incident", and did not mention Mr Gibson's remarks.

Lawyer Michael Gennaco said an initial probe showed sheriffs did not give Mr Gibson favourable treatment.

Mr Gennaco, who is head of the county Office of Independent Review, said the final arrest report would include inflammatory comments made by Mr Gibson.

That report will be made public when prosecutors present their case.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney said a date for filing formal charges had yet to be decided.

The Associated Press news agency reports that Mr Gibson told the arresting officer "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world", and asked him: "Are you a Jew?"

'Work at it'

Mr Gibson has made a public apology for his remarks, and has asked to meet with Jewish groups to "discern the appropriate path for healing".

Jewish campaigners the Anti-Defamation League, which initially condemned Mr Gibson, offered support to the actor.

"I'd like to put it behind him, I hope he wants to put it behind him, but you need to work at it," said Abraham H Foxman, the group's national director.

Anti-Semitism is not born in one day and cannot be cured in one day and certainly not through the issuing of a press release
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
"You can't just say I'm no longer a drunk; you can't just say I'm no longer a bigot. You need to work hard at it, and we're ready to help him."

And Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, urged Mr Gibson to read about Jewish persecution and visit sites where it had taken place.

"Anti-Semitism is not born in one day and cannot be cured in one day and certainly not through the issuing of a press release," he told the Associated Press.

"When Mr Gibson embarks on a serious long-term effort to address that bigotry and anti-Semitism, he will find the Jewish community more than willing to engage and help him."

Mr Gennaco's investigation into Mr Gibson's arrest did not reveal whether the Sheriff's Department had tried to shield Mr Gibson's remarks from the public.

Michael Gennaco
Michael Gennaco leads LA's Office of Independent Review
"That question I don't have an answer to," he said.

The department has denied any cover-up.

Controversial movie

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said that after Mr Gibson was released from jail on $5,000 (2,666) bail, a deputy drove him to a tow yard to retrieve his car.

Mr Whitmore said the short ride in a marked patrol car was "within department policy".

"It's within our policy to help people out and also to avoid a possible conflict," Whitmore said.

"We didn't want Mr Gibson to get into any kind of disturbance with the paparazzi."

Mr Gibson, 50, won a best director Oscar for his 1995 film Braveheart, in which he also starred.

His 2004 biblical epic, The Passion of the Christ, was recently named the most controversial movie to date by US magazine Entertainment Weekly.

His new film Apocalypto is set 3,000 years ago in central America and features dialogue spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect.


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



SEE ALSO
Gibson admits anti-Jewish remarks
01 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
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 charged with drink-driving
28 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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