Los Angeles, November 17 – Years after a drunken, antisemitic rant at a California police officer, acclaimed actor and director Mel Gibson is still having trouble finding a decent accountant.
An action-hero legend and award-winning director of some of Hollywood’s most notable films, Gibson has yet to live down a 2006 encounter with a Los Angeles County policewoman who pulled him over and cited him for Driving While Intoxicated. In his alcohol-enhanced state, the star of the Lethal Weapon series expressed his displeasure by accusing “the Jews” of controlling everything and plotting to destroy him.
Although Gibson quickly apologized and sought to meet with Jewish leaders to promote healing, many Jews remained suspicious of his sincerity, especially given Gibson’s 2004 production of The Passion of the Christ, which depicts Jesus’s final hours in a manner long associated with antisemitic tropes and the negative stereotyping of Jews by Christians through the ages.
The cumulative tension with Jews and the Jewish community has proved a financial challenge as well, as antipathy for Gibson has cut him off from access to good accountants. Lacking a such a professional, he has been forced to rely on second- or third-tier accountants recommended by friends and associates, many of whom are ill-equipped to handle Gibson’s complicated finances, which include a divorce settlement and child support payments.
Signs of Gibson’s impending problems with finding a good accountant began to emerge in the 1990’s. In a 1995 interview with Playboy, he espoused a conspiracy theory involving influential Americans being groomed for positions in a “new world order,” and that President Clinton was merely a puppet. Conspiracy theories in general verge toward the antisemitic, but few observers at the time knew enough to predict Gibson’s impending accounting crisis. Gibson subsequently denied accepting those conspiracy theories, though he did star in a suspense film by that name.
The drunk-driving incident in 2006 ruined Gibson’s marriage and negatively colored a subsequent relationship that soured in dramatically public fashion and also involved law enforcement, but the Hollywood veteran has managed to avoid further significant controversy in the last several years, fueling speculation that he is due for an incident.
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