Jpost Reports that Mel Gibson, the Hollywood actor and director has been secretly donating to Holocaust survivors for nearly a decade, according to a report by Extra on Friday. Gibson was the subject of fierce public backlash for the last decade due to a drunken 2006 antisemitic rant.
Zane Buzby, actress and founder of the Survivor Mitzvah Project, which provides financial aid to elderly Holocaust survivors in isolated areas of Europe, said “Mel Gibson is helping Holocaust survivors in eight countries, it’s remarkable.”
“I have a great respect for people who turn their lives around,” she added. “And I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, and I think the real proof of what kind of human being you are is what you do with that mistake. He’s educated himself. He’s done philanthropic work now, and I think that actions speak very loudly… and his actions have helped a lot of people.”
In July 2006, Gibson was arrested for a DUI in Malibu, California, where he was subsequently recorded making antisemitic remarks. During questioning, Gibson reportedly said to one of the officers: “F**king Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world… Are you a Jew?”
“It was an unfortunate incident,” Gibson said in a 2016 episode of Variety’s “Playback” podcast when asked about the fact that there are many who feel they can no longer support him or his work. “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
The “Passion of the Christ” director acknowledged that he had already apologized for the behavior and that people should move on from the incident.
“Ten years have gone by,” Gibson stated. “I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been.”
Gibson also said he doesn’t consider himself a hateful person, and that his actions were a result of the copious amount of alcohol he consumed on that night.
“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” the actor/director said. “And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”
JPost, Reuters and Daniel J. Roth contributed to this report.