(See UPDATE below! Eszterhas says he has proof!)
In a scathing letter to Mel Gibson, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has accused the writer-director of displaying a range of disturbing opinions, including anti-Semitism, his rages against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, not to mention an irrational hatred of John Lennon.
Gibson: "I'm going to kill her!"
Eszterhas claims Gibson admitted hitting his ex-girlfriend and threatened on numerous occasions to have her murdered.
“You were raving at Oksana even after you’d reached a custody agreement over [the couple’s daughter] Luci,” Eszterhas writes in the April 9 letter which has been posted online by gossip news site TheWrap.com.
“And then you were even more explicit about your threat: ‘I’m going to kill her! I’m going to have her killed!’ You said you’d become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her.”
Eszterhas says at one point Gibson told him that he wants to stab Oksana to death while raping her.
Eszterhas describes Gibson, whose films include (the ironically titled?) What Women Want, as an enraged man who could only refer to his ex-gf with abusive, sexual expletives.
“You acted out for me the scene where you hit her,” Eszterhas writes in the letter. “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."
Continues Eszterhas, quoting Gibson.
“‘I want that c--- gone!’ you screamed. ‘Gone! Gone! Gone! I will not share Luci with her!’ And: ‘I’m going to get rid of her. No one will ever know! … She’s poisoning Luci against me! She is evil! They worship the devil where she came from. She’s going to disappear! Gone’!”
Oksana’s rep, Steve Jaffe, tells TMZ, “Mr. Eszterhas charges are extremely serious and should be investigated by the authorities immediately.”
Gibson last March pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from a fight with Oksana.
Jaffe says Oksana will not comment directly on the letter. TMZ opines that her silence may be due to a confidentiality agreement with Gibson she signed when their custody war over Luci finally came to an end.
The war over The Maccabees
A screenwriter, Eszterhas is a Hollywood institution in his own right, having penned more than a dozen hits, including Flashdance, Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct, Telling Lies in America and Costa-Gavras‘ acclaimed Holocaust drama, Music Box.
He apparently wrote the letter after learning that Gibson and Warner Brothers Studio had rejected his screenplay for a biopic Gibson wanted to make about second century Jewish hero-warrior Judah Maccabee, a project Gibson announced last year with much fanfare.
Eszterhas accuses Gibson of anti-Semitism and charges that the Road Warrior star jumped on The Maccabees film bandwagon as a PR stunt to divert accusations about his alleged anti-Jewish prejudices which, Eszterhas writes, “have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
"I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make The Maccabees is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews. You continually called Jews ‘Hebes’ and ‘oven-dodgers’ and ‘Jewboys.’ It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked ‘He’s a Hebe, isn’t he?’ You said most ‘gatekeepers’ of American companies were ‘Hebes’ who ‘controlled their bosses’.”
The letter paints a damming portrait of Gibson as being deeply ignorant of Jewish beliefs and history and of harboring a deep-seated hatred for the religion and its adherents.
“You said the Holocaust was ‘mostly a lot of horses—.’ You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants. When I told you that you were confusing the Torah with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ... you insisted ‘it’s in the Torah -- it’s in there!” (It isn’t).”
The Hungarian-born Eszterhas has written about anti-Semitism in his own family, including his father, István Eszterhas, a Catholic newspaper editor who voiced pro-Nazi opinions before and during the war and of the State Department’s investigation of his father for alleged war crimes.
Gibson writes that he refuses to counter Eszterhas’ letter line by line. He does not discuss the charges of anti-Semitism expressly, but writes, “ 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.”
Gibson says he feels deeply about the Maccabees project.
“Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation,” he writes, “I have been working on this project for over 10 years … 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.”
Gibson adds that both he and Warner were disappointed with the script.
The Maccabees film is not entirely dead, Warner says. “We are analyzing what to do with the project,” the studio tells E! News.
Gibson made headlines in 2006 when he launched into a drunken anti-Semitic rant during a DUI stop in Malibu. The officer who stopped him, L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy James Mee, recorded the conversation.
Mee wrote in his report that "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me." The deputy says Gibson then launched into an expletive-filled monologue. "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," Gibson yelled, then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"
Gibson has yet to release a comment to the press about Eszterhas' allegations.
What was that about Lennon?
The writer says Gibson celebrated Lennon’s 1980 murder.
“I’m glad he’s dead,” he quotes Gibson as saying.
“He deserved to be shot. He was [bleep] messianic. Listen to his songs! ‘Imagine’. I hate that [bleep] song. I’m glad he’s dead.”
UPDATE: "I have proof," Eszterhas says
Don't believe Gibson uttered those horrible things about his ex-girlfriend, about Jews and about Lennon?
Eszterhas tells TMZ that his teenage son, Nick, secretly recorded part of his da's conversations with Gibson at the Braveheart Oscar-winner's Costa Rica manse. But he would not specify which specific quotes he attribites to Gibson are on tape.
Eszterhas adds that he can produce other witnesses to Mel's rants who say they're willing to come forward.