Joe Eszterhas Explodes at Mel Gibson: 'You Hate Jews'
Joe Eszterhas Explodes at Mel Gibson: 'You Hate Jews' (Exclusive)
Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas is accusing Mel Gibson, his recent collaborator on a movie about Jewish revolt, of “hating Jews” and using him to deflect his anti-Semitic reputation.
In an explosive nine-page letter to Gibson obtained by TheWrap, the screenwriter wrote that the director of “The Passion of the Christ” never intended to make the movie about Jewish heroism, called “The Maccabees.”
Instead, Eszterhas said, Gibson announced the project “in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
He added: “I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make ‘The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
TheWrap reported earlier that Warner Bros. has put the controversial project on hold, and rejected Eszterhas's script as lacking in “a sense of triumph.”
A spokesman for Gibson had no immediate comment.
Eszterhas' letter reveals a more complex dynamic, a disturbing picture of Gibson as a man yet again out of control, inflicting frequent rages on those around him, in the grip of an anti-Semitic obsession, and possibly dangerous to those around him.
On several occasions, said Eszterhas, Gibson “was wild, crazed, and explosive.”
The April 9 letter also recounts Gibson's threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Gregorieva.
“You were raving at Oksana even after you'd reached a custody agreement over Luci,” their daughter, the letter says. “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.”
Gibson's anti-Semitic obsession was a leitmotif of working on the film together at Gibson's homes in Malibu and Costa Rica, Eszterhas said.
"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 slurs continued, through their work:
“You said the Holocaust was 'mostly a lot of horseshit.' 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)."
And he said Gibson told him that his intention in making “The Maccabees” was “to convert the Jews to Christianity.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he was not surprised by Eszterhas' allegations. Hier has been a critic of Gibson's involvement in the Maccabee project since the film was announced in September.
“I was was not among those that offered any forgiveness,” Hier said. “The whole apology was a joke. It was written by a publicity agent. If he wanted to profoundly apologize, he could do it the right way. He could visit a concentration camp. He could take a course on Holocaust studies. He could write an opinion piece. He did none of that, so it comes as no surprise to me.”