(LOS ANGELES) -- Mel Gibson has broken his silence. For the first time, he has publicly addressed his life and career since the profane recordings that captured the actor berating his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, leaked online last summer. Speaking with journalist Allison Hope Weiner, who gave her interview to Deadline.com, Gibson says the ordeal was "humiliating and painful" for his family.
Gibson wouldn't discuss specifics regarding his legal battles with Grigorieva, in part because they're still embroiled in a custody dispute over their infant daughter, Lucia. He says, "There are a lot of delicate and sensitive issues and I don’t want to be the cause of grief to any of my children or to friends or family or associates on either side because it’s a matter that should be dealt with. It’s important to me that it’s dealt with correctly and it’s important that I maintain my integrity through this for the sake of those I love." He later states that the leak of the recordings "was terribly humiliating and painful for my family, all my kids."
Gibson says he never expected the recordings to leak because, as he puts it, "Who anticipates being recorded? Who anticipates that? Who could anticipate such a personal betrayal?" He maintains that he's never "treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality -- period." Gibson, who famously made anti-Semitic remarks during his 2006 DUI arrest, further claims the audio was edited, though he concedes the conversation with Grigorieva represents an "awful moment in time."
Gibson says he had his family in mind when he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor spousal battery for an alleged confrontation he had last year with Grigorieva at his home. He says if he had let the case continue, it would have turned into a "circus," so he decided to "take the hit and move on" with a plea that allowed him to maintain his innocence. Gibson was placed on three years' probation and must undergo one year of domestic violence counseling and perform 16 hours of community service.
Other newsworthy tidbits from the interview:
* Gibson says he appreciates Whoopi Goldberg defending him during his scandal, but he's not upset with other celebrity friends who did not publicly support him. He says, "That doesn’t bother me. Why would anyone want to speak publicly and drag themselves through this crap?"
* Gibson also isn't bothered that his rumored role in The Hangover Part II fell through when crew and cast members reportedly objected to his involvement in the film. He says, "You have to let that go. I sat here and talked to [director] Todd [Phillips] about it. I like Todd. How could you not like Todd? He’s smart and he’s gifted and so are the other people in the film. It’s okay. You just have to let that go."
* Gibson says it would be easy for him to pull the plug on his acting career now. He says, "I don't care if I don't act anymore." However, he reveals that he will star in a movie by his Braveheart screenwriter Randy Wallace that he describes as "swashbuckler kind of stuff."
Gibson's latest film, the Jodie Foster-directed dramedy The Beaver, debuts in limited release on May 6.
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