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Angry Mel Gibson back on tape — is he angry enough to sue?

April 19, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Mel Gibson at the "Get the Gringo" premiere in Austin, Texas. His mood seems to have changed since an outburst in Costa Rica that was recorded.
Mel Gibson at the "Get the Gringo" premiere in Austin, Texas.… (Jack Plunkett / Associated…)

Angry Mel Gibson is back – and he just might be angry enough to sue “The Maccabees” screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas for releasing a recording of a rant that went down in December at the actor’s Costa Rica home.  

Audio and a transcript of the recording, which came out Wednesday via TheWrap, show Gibson flexing a somewhat limited vocabulary – think the F-word used as noun, verb and adjective – at top volume. (Check it out here, if you’re prepared for a slew of profanity.)

According to TMZ, Team Mel is now looking into the laws of Costa Rica, to see if any were broken, or if the release of the recording violated the actor's privacy rights. Sources “connected with Mel” told the site that Gibson believes he has a basic right not to be secretly recorded in his own home.

At the time the recording was made by his 15-year-old son, Ezsterhas said, he and his family were guests at Gibson’s place; he said his host was storming around the house during his "why don’t I have a first draft of 'The Maccabees’?" onslaught.

Eszterhas, who wrote "Showgirls," had been tapped to pen the script on Gibson's Judah Maccabee project, a film envisioned as "a Jewish 'Braveheart.' "

“I go to work, you’re getting paid,” Gibson hollers at Ezsterhas, then makes a crude reference to earning money for a “filthy little” sumpin’-sumpin’ who, like “every other” sumpin’-sumpin’ else, has been taking advantage of him.

More seriously, in a letter written April 9, after the mid-March rejection of the Eszterhas’ first draft of “The Maccabees,” the “Basic Instinct” writer had accused Gibson of making anti-Semitic remarks of all shapes and sizes, plus raging against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

Gibson pleaded no contest to domestic violence charges last March, receiving probation, and settled the custody case over their daughter in August.

"I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest one possible,” Eszterhas wrote. “You hate Jews." He asked for his script back, so he could get it made by someone else.

Gibson, in an April 11 reply that called “the great majority” of facts and statements attributed to him in the April 9 letter by Eszterhas “utter fabrications,” addressed the Costa Rica outburst, saying,  “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. I promptly sent you a written apology, the colorful words of which you apparently now find offensive. Let me now clearly apologize to you and your family in the simplest of terms.”

Meanwhile, Gibson’s newest movie, the self-financed crime drama “Get the Gringo,” premiered Wednesday with Gibson on hand in Austin, Texas, for a limited one-night run before heading – intentionally – to DirecTV’s video-on-demand service. Gibson stars in, co-wrote and produced the $20-million action film.


Another Mel Gibson tape? Say it ain't so, Joe Eszterhas

Mel Gibson settlement: Oksana gets $750,000, not $15 million

Mel Gibson pleads no contest; Oksana Grigorieva off the hook [Poll]

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