Mel Gibson has responded to screenwriter Joe Eszterhas' accusation that he had threatened to kill Oksana Grigorieva even after he and his ex-girlfriend had reached agreement over the custody of their daughter. In a written statement coming out via Deadline, the "Edge of Darkness" star called the allegations "utter fabrications".
"Joe, I have your letter," the 56-year-old actor wrote in response to the nine-page letter written by his collaborator in "The Maccabees" project. He continued, "I am not going to respond to it line by line, but I will say that the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications."
The "Braveheart" star went on to state, "I would have thought that a man of principle, as you purport to be, would have withdrawn from the project regardless of the money if you truly believed me to be the person you describe in your letter. I guess you only had a problem with me after Warner Brothers rejected your script."
Gibson then explained, "I was very frustrated that when you arrived at my home at the expense of both Warner Brothers and myself you hadn't written a single word of a script or even an outline after 15 months of research, meetings, discussions and the outpouring of my heartfelt vision for this story. I did react more strongly than I should have."
Having admitted that his previously written apology is filled with "colorful words of which you apparently now find offensive," he added, "Let me now clearly apologize to you and your family in the simplest of terms." He then noted, "Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation," before adding, "I absolutely want to make this movie; it's just that neither Warner Brothers nor I want to make this movie based on your script."
Eszterhas accused the director of "The Passion of the Christ" of continuing to make threat to kill his ex-girlfriend in an April 9 letter obtained by TheWrap. The screenwriter behind "Basic Instinct" wrote, "You were raving at Oksana even after you'd reached a custody agreement over Luci. And then you were even more explicit about your threat: 'I'm going to kill her! I'm going to have her killed!' "
Eszterhas continued, "You said you'd become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her." The screenwriter, who described Gibson as "wild, crazed, and explosive", also recounted the time the actor told the writer's 15-year-old-son about his plans to kill Gregorieva in explicit and crude language.
Per Eszterhas, Gibson always referred to Grigorieva as "that c**t" and "that f**king b***h". The screenwriter added, "You acted out for me the scene where you hit her. But you said you'd 'just slapped her a little bit.' After you slapped her, you said, she grabbed Luci and went running 'hysterically' down the hillside behind your house in the pitch dark."
In the letter, Eszterhas also accused Gibson of never having the intention of making a movie about the biblical figure Judah Maccabee. In fact, he said that director announced the project "in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career," before stating, "You hate Jews."