We’ve all come to know how Hollywood works by now – you either play it safe or get canceled. Sometimes, actors will get “exiled” forever (you know who they are), and others will get an unceremonious “welcome back” years later. In Mel Gibson’s case, after several taboo remarks and incidents, the 65-year-old actor managed to make his way back into the limelight.
It turns out Gibson has been leading a wild ride of a life. Just to give you a teaser: the man has his own religion, been on and off the wagon his whole life, and has nine kids. These are the ups and downs of Mel Gibson’s life.
How Many Kids Does Mel Gibson Have?
Gibson has nine children in total from two women – Robyn Moore and Oksana Grigorieva. He’s only been married once to dentist Robyn Moore, with whom he has seven kids. With Grigorieva, he has one daughter. They dated from 2009 to 2010, breaking up shortly after she was born.
His latest girlfriend, Rosalind Ross, is the mother of his ninth child. Gibson met his first wife when he was still an up-and-coming actor. They married in 1980, when he was 24, and went on to become a rather large family. Unlike other celeb couples, Gibson and Moore kept a very private marriage. But it all started to crumble in the mid-2000s.
He Never Remarried After His Messy Divorce
It was around the time Gibson was arrested for drunk driving, not to mention his public meltdowns. By 2006, they announced their separation. Since they never signed a prenuptial agreement, Gibson’s ex-wife was awarded $425 million in their divorce settlement – about half of his net worth. The actor never remarried (go figure).
It’s been reported that Gibson has had his share of relationships, though, and some of them took place while he was still married to Moore. He dated stand-up comic Diana Alouise, who apparently admitted to having a “four-month affair” with Gibson in 2004. He also reportedly had “a secret relationship” with Suzanne Somers’ stepdaughter, Leslie Hamel, also while he was married.
Mel Gibson “Digs” His Current Gal
Gibson has been dating Rosalind Ross since 2014, and according to reports, the two met when Ross was signed to co-write a script for Gibson’s production company, Icon Productions. Gibson had to defend himself when rumors of their relationship surfaced, and that’s because Ross is 35 years younger than him.
“Regarding age and relationships, it’s just a number,” he told The Mirror in 2016. “She is an adult, and we dig each other.” Ross, by the way, is a former champion equestrian vaulter (as well as a writer). The unmarried couple had a son together – Gibson’s ninth child – named Lars Gerard in 2017.
Is Mel Gibson Australian?
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, as the sixth of 11 children. He comes from Irish and Australian descent, and his family is actually quite notable. His grandmother was opera contralto Eva Mylott, and his grandfather was American millionaire tobacco businessman John Hutton Gibson.
Gibson revealed that his first name came from St. Mel’s Cathedral (an Irish saint). His second name, Colmcille, is also shared by an Irish saint. When Gibson was 12, his father moved their big family to Sydney, Australia, after being rewarded $145,000 in a work-related injury lawsuit against the NYC Railroad in 1968.
The First “Sexiest Man Alive”
There was a time when Mel Gibson could do no wrong. Heck, in 1985, he was People magazine’s first “Sexiest Man Alive.” How did it even come about? Well, while photo editor Mary Dunn was preparing her story, she passed by a picture of Gibson and declared, “He’s the sexiest man alive!”
And just like that, a tradition of “sexiest men” began. He was just a good-looking dude; he starred in 10 movies that grossed over $100 million at the box office between 1989 to 2002 alone.
The Passion of Mel Gibson
In 2004, The Passion of the Christ came out, and pretty much every sane person in Hollywood told him he was nuts. To make a film in mostly Aramaic, blaming the Crucifixion on ancient Jews and their descendants (aka the kids of many of his Hollywood friends), was a bold and brave move.
But he went ahead and raised eyebrows. He shrugged off charges of Anti-Semitism, and just kept on trucking. From The Passion of the Christ, which he produced with his company, he made about $600 million.
Malibu, 80 mph., and a Bottle of Tequila
The already rich actor/producer just got a heck of a lot richer. By that point, he was 26 years into his marriage with Moore. Life was good for Gibson, despite the bitter taste he left in Hollywood’s mouth with The Passion, but life was about to get very complicated.
One July night in Malibu in 2006, the actor who already had a history of drinking was stopped when he was caught going 80-plus in a 45-mph. Zone on the Pacific Coast Highway. It didn’t help that an open bottle of tequila was in the car.
Big Mistake, Mel
Obviously, his blood-alcohol level was way over the legal limit. While arresting officer James Mee gave Gibson his citation, the actor suddenly blurted out what he most likely has been thinking for a while: “F***ing Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
He then asked the officer if he was Jewish, saying, “Even those who had withheld judgment when he released The Passion of the Christ cried “Aha!” The man who was at the top of his game was about to fall. And fall hard.
“My Life Is Over”
When Gibson was pulled over that night in July 2006, he had just come back from directing Apocalypto in Mexico. It was there that he fell off the wagon again. One source stated that his first reaction when he was pulled over was never reported in the press.
“My life is over,” he lamented. “I’m f***ed. Robyn’s going to leave me.” Their daughter Hannah was getting married later that year, and his wife warned him not to do anything embarrassing. But close friends of Gibson say his wife had already left him by that point.
Apocalypto Got the Best of Him
According to a friend who knows Gibson well, she had already left him. She was told that he was going to be on location for two months, but it ended up taking nine. The shoot was tough, to say the least, in that the conditions were very primitive.
Many of the non-actors didn’t speak English. The stress got the best of him. Stacy Perskie, the second assistant director on the film, said everyone knew that he hadn’t had a drink in a really long time, “so there was gossip about it.”
That’s Not Water
At crew dinners, people would say things like, “I know that wasn’t water he was drinking. It was vodka.” When Gibson came back home to L.A., his house was empty – Moore had moved out with the kids.
A friend close to him believes that the DUI arrest was the moment at which he “just absolutely failed as a human being.” He went so far as to suggest that Gibson was “trying to invite death by cop.” According to this source, it wasn’t about being anti-Semitic…
A Possible Reason for the Meltdown
“I think he was trying to rile that guy into pulling out a gun and shooting him,” his friend said. He also told the press that before Gibson left the restaurant that night (he had dinner at Moonshadows Malibu), he was seen going up to every single table to say goodbye.
“Why would you say good-bye to every table unless you think you’re never going to see them again? I believe that what was going on that night was a farewell.” This is speculation, of course, but one worth noting…
A Long Time Coming
Gibson’s drinking gained public attention in 2006, but alcohol has been a fixture in his life for a long time. He’s said before that he started drinking when he was only 13. In 2015, he spoke about his addiction, saying he had been at least five years sober at that point, crediting Alcoholics Anonymous.
“They say there are only three options: you go insane, you die, or you quit,” he shared. “That’s the harsh reality. I’m an old hand at that.” The truth is, Gibson will never stop hearing about that 2006 DUI incident.
He Became a “Putz” Overnight
He told Variety in 2016: “It was an unfortunate incident. I was loaded and angry and arrested.” But at the time, Hollywood’s reaction was swift (as it tends to be). For example, Sony’s CEO, Amy Pascal – who previously refused to consider Gibson for a role in the remake of All the King’s Men – suggested an industry boycott on the anti-Semitic actor.
Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel denounced Gibson in the Huffington Post: “The entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements.” Then there was Sidney Sheinberg, former president of MCA, who called Gibson a “putz.” And that was just the beginning.
The Oksana Grigorieva Scandal
Four years later, he separated from Oksana Grigorieva in a highly publicized battle. It was a new scandal – one that was a nice little gift for all the Mel Gibson-bashers. Grigorieva accused her baby daddy of breaking her front teeth.
She claimed that he punched her, barely missing her jaw and grazing the chin of their baby daughter, whom she was holding at the time. This was only sinking Gibson into a deeper hole. And just when things looked as bad as they could get for the disgraced actor, some audiotapes were released.
A Leaked Conversation in Tabloid Heaven
RadarOnline.com leaked audiotapes that exposed Gibson speaking to Grigorieva in the most derogatory of ways. He ranted, panted, and grunted like an animal, saying that his ex deserved a “bat to the side of the head.”
He even said that if he wanted to, he could plant her “in a rose garden” and that he was “going to come and burn the f***ing house down,” but that she could “blow” him first. The profanities only got worse, scolding her while also using the N-word. It was the stuff of tabloid heaven.
Getting Rejected by Leonardo DiCaprio and the Hangover Guys
The fight with Grigorieva only fanned the already ignited flames of the anti-Gibson movement. ABC axed the Holocaust-themed mini-series that Gibson was in the middle of developing with the network. (Who knows – maybe the project was his way of apologizing?)
Leonardo DiCaprio (the mensch he is) withdrew from a movie about Vikings that Gibson was hoping (and still intends) to direct. That year, it was announced that Gibson was set to do a comedic cameo as a tattoo artist in The Hangover, Part II. But members of the cast and crew rejected the idea. (The part went to Liam Neeson.)
The Self-Acclaimed Family Man
All this came from a man who was known for family values. He once said, “There’s nothing more important than your family… If you ruin that part of your life, what’s left? Work? Money? Screwing around?”
In the same breath, he said he sees many people who live like “that,” and they tell themselves they’re having a “good time, but if you look under the surface, you see lots of corpses masquerading as human beings.” And here he was, becoming one of those “corpses.”
A Jekyll-and-Hyde Personality
Strangely enough, despite his toxic comments and behavior, there were many Hollywood big names who vouched for him. Jodie Foster, who made the movie The Beaver with Gibson, sounded pretty delusional to many people when she called Gibson “the most loved man in the film business.”
There are many in the industry which describe Gibson as a wonderful companion and recall his acts of generosity. Then again, there are both friends and colleagues of his who describe his Jekyll-and-Hyde personality, which has long been swept under the rug.
One friend of Gibson’s has called him “almost bipolar,” adding that he can be “really, really charming, but he can turn on a dime, and become explosive.” The thing with Gibson is that Hollywood was (is?) divided. Some of his best friends are Black or Jewish.
There’s his longtime publicist, Alan Nierob, and Richard Donner, who directed or produced six of his films, including the Lethal Weapon series. Speaking of Lethal Weapon, his costar Danny Glover said he “loves Mel” and their “camaraderie… was really special.”
Jodie Foster Loves the Guy
His late agent, Ed Limato, was gay. His ex-wife declared that Gibson never laid a finger on her in anger. His friend Whoopi Goldberg sprang to his defense, too. Then there’s his devout supporter, Jodie Foster, who first worked with Gibson in Maverick (1994).
She said to herself, “This is somebody I’m going to know for my whole life.” Foster recalled the time a tree fell outside her house in the middle of the night. In the morning, she ran outside a little too fast to get the newspaper and ran into the tree.
Mel Gibson to the Rescue
“I was stumbling around, blood pouring out of my head,” Foster described. The phone rang, and it was Gibson. She told him about the accident, and he “literally came in 15 minutes with this big bag of ointments and Tibetan blah-blah.”
“He’s kind. He’s generous.” But she pointed out that she’s not “proud of the way he’s handled everything, but I feel terrible for him, and for his family, for his struggles.” Okay, so it’s clear that some actors love the guy, but if you ask Winona Ryder, he’s a schmuck.
Winona Ryder Accuses Mel Gibson of Making Anti-Semitic
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Winona Ryder was asked if she has experienced anti-Semitism in the industry. Of her examples, she mentioned a disturbing run-in with Gibson. It’s actually a story she’s recounted a bunch of times.
“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends,” she explained of a party they were both at in the ‘90s. “And Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking, and he said to my friend, who’s gay, ‘Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?’”
The “Oven Dodger” Scandal
That was before Jews came up in the conversation. According to Ryder, Gibson said to a Jewish person that night, “You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’” Ryder said that Gibson attempted to apologize later on. But then, he also denied her claims of his anti-Semitism and homophobia.
Gibson stated that Ryder was lying about their interactions. “This is 100% untrue,” his representative told Variety. “She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she’s lying about it now.”
It’s All About the He Said, She Said
According to Gibson’s representative, Ryder lied about his alleged apology. He did reach out to her many years ago, the representative mentioned, to confront her, but she “refused to address it with him.”
After Gibson’s denial of the “oven dodger” comment, those in the industry wonder if Gibson really has changed. After all, he has and continues to make films in Hollywood. He may not have a full green pass, but the man is making millions with ease. His latest movie is Boss Level (2021), and before that, Fatman (2020).
“I Want His Intestines on a Stick”
Writer Frank Rich is an anti-Gibsoner (if I may), and he said that what Winona Ryder claimed is “consistent with everything he’s ever done, so nothing has ever changed.” The writer roasted Passion of the Christ for its propaganda and wrote many critical pieces on Gibson.
There was a time when Gibson said he wanted to kill Rich AND his dog, saying, “I want his intestines on a stick.” The thing is, Rich has never owned a dog. He is, however, an executive producer on HBO’s Succession.
He’s the Exception to the Rule
Howard Bragman, a longtime Hollywood crisis manager, pointed out that Ryder’s comments were “regarding a past encounter.” He said he doesn’t think it’ll affect his career “unless something new and devastating comes out.”
He also said that Gibson has proven to be the exception to the rule. Bragman represented Grigorieva at the time of the leaked tapes, and he wasn’t surprised that Gibson had made a comeback. It definitely helps that he’s now sober. “I don’t remember ever seeing him drunk,” director/producer Richard Donner said.
A Good Actor Hides His Dark Side
Could it be? That the actor was good at playing the part? That he successfully concealed his dark side? (I hope my sarcasm comes off clear.) Most of us know that addicts are good at hiding their addictions. Gibson has spent most of his life on and off the wagon.
Donner remembers when they were shooting Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Gibson came up to him and said, “I’m going to leave early this afternoon, I’m going to an A.A. meeting.” Donner then asked him why “You’re not an alcoholic.”
A Six Pack Before Work
Gibson replied, “Yes, I am.” He told the director that he would sometimes drink a six-pack of beer before work. Donner had no idea. Kim Winther, first assistant director on The Patriot and We Were Soldiers, said that Gibson tended to deflect.
“He never talked about his personal life, always talked about everybody else.” But the truth always comes out, doesn’t it, folks? For many, his drinking was never an issue. But in 1983, while shooting The Bounty, his costar, Anthony Hopkins, was reportedly bothered by Gibson’s boozing.
He Was “Wacko” When Filming The Bounty
“I was wacko,” Gibson admitted. Of the shoot, he said they were “out there in the trees, in the middle of a volcano, in the middle of French Polynesia, with bad food and an endless supply of alcohol.”
They would “get smashed” and go on the Club Med stage “and pull down our pants.” Earlier that year, Gibson was shooting the film Mrs. Soffel in Toronto. Drunk one night, he was driving and ran a light, hitting another car. As a result, he was banned from driving in Ontario for three months.
On and Off the Wagon
In 1991, in Modesto, California, Gibson was looking to buy cattle for his ranch in Australia. He wound up in a bar drinking the night away with two waitresses and a student named Wendy Lee Kain. Kain took photos, which made their way to the newspapers, showing Gibson smooching with the girls.
But the actor was back on the wagon while shooting The Patriot in 1999. According to producer Dean Devlin, the first thing Gibson did upon arrival was starting an A.A. chapter, and ironically, a shelter for battered women. Apparently, it’s because the local community had neither.
“I’ve Got a Bad Temper”
Donner once admitted that his longtime friend has a “lot of anger and hostility” under the surface. In 1993, the actor himself admitted in an interview: “I’ve got a bad temper.” A bad temper and alcohol? It’s never a winning combination.
Have you ever heard about Gibson’s Mad Max audition? A week before auditioning for the role (in 1979) – his second lead role – he found himself in a fistfight at a party that left him with a broken jaw. There’s a story that goes along with it, too.
The Story Behind the Mad Max Audition
Gibson gained fame from his iconic role in the first three Mad Max films of the franchise, but his audition for the role is legendary on its own. The 1979 sci-fi movie was filmed when the guy was just 21 years old.
The movie took this Australian American actor into Hollywood stardom thanks to his performance. The story behind the audition, though, and its credibility is up for debate. Legend has it that the young actor attended the audition with his friend…
The Work of a Good Publicist?
Reportedly, Gibson was offered the opportunity to play the original Mad Max on the spot, thanks to his appearance. Gibson showed up to the casting call looking beat-up, which was the aftermath of a brawl from the night before. It caught the eye of the casting director.
The story, in the end, was debatable. The infamous Mad Max audition has been disputed by numerous industry insiders who say it might easily be the work of a good publicist. Gibson has brought up the story in interviews before, but he explains that the casting team had him in mind for a villainous role.
The Moral of the Story Is…
As Gibson recalled the event, the production team took stills of his swollen face, and by the time he came back to read for the role of Miller, he was healed up. That’s when the director considered Gibson for the lead instead.
It doesn’t seem like Gibson learned a lesson from his alleged brawl. In his own words, he declared that if “anybody even looks at me sideways, I’m cracking first. Just devastate him — and don’t get him once, get him a few times. Make sure he can’t get up and do anything to me.”
He’s Not One for Apologies
After all the controversial and downright homophobic, sexist, and anti-Semitic slurs, Gibson was never a fan of apologizing. In 1991, he made sarcastic remarks about homosexuals in a Spanish publication called El País.
He later looked back on that time and made the situation even worse. The day after his remarks, he did an interview on national TV and was asked, “So, are you going to apologize? You’ve offended the community.” Gibson’s response? “I’m not apologizing to anyone. I’ll apologize when hell freezes over. They can f*** off.”
The Church of Mel Gibson
In 2003, Gibson built his own Catholic church, which practices his father’s Catholic Traditionalism. Paying homage to pre-Vatican II, the Church of the Holy Family holds a Latin mass where women must have their heads covered. The priest doesn’t face the churchgoers during prayer.
Being a Catholic is important to Gibson, and it was crucial in his father’s life too. To this day, it isn’t really clear what throws Gibson off the rails. But as in most cases, the path leads to his upbringing. As Donner sees it, “Mel is a product of his father… If you delve into that, you’ll learn a lot of things about him.”
A Complicated Relationship With His Father
One source reported that both Gibson and his father remember “every single thing they ever read. Verbatim.” Hutton was a railway brakeman who uprooted his entire family to Australia because he didn’t want his boys getting drafted into the Vietnam War.
Gibson has a complicated relationship with his father – a man who has not so much denied the Holocaust but majorly minimized it. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, she quoted his father, who stated the Holocaust was “maybe not all fiction — but most of it is.” Gibson then told Sawyer to “leave it alone… I don’t want to be dissing my father.”
Hutton Gibson Was on Jeopardy!
Hutton appeared on Jeopardy! back in 1968. He even took home $4,600, which would be around $32,000 in today’s money. He must have enjoyed the experience considering he later went on a game show in Australia.
The interesting thing about the Gibson family is that they have roots in witchery. Gibson’s great-grandfather, nine times removed, is John Gibson, who was born in 1601. It was around 1660 that John Gibson accused Winifred Holman and her daughter of witchcraft. Historians say that the two then sued Gibson and his family for defamation.
The Other Acting Gibsons
Did you know that Gibson’s younger brother, Donal, is also an actor? He’s best known as a voice actor for roles like Australian Captain Boomerang in Justice League and John Smith in Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World.
But Gibson’s kids have been seen in Hollywood, too. With nine children, it only makes sense that at least one of them would become an actor. The second youngest, Milo, doesn’t just look like his dad; he’s also appeared in one of his movies…
Gibson’s second youngest son, Milo, also caught the acting bug. He was actually in his dad’s 2016 World War II drama, Hacksaw Ridge. Milo is 30 years old now and has done some films already, including All the Devil’s Men, Breaking and Exiting, and Gangster Land.
Milo is probably the most recognizable of Gibson’s kids, but acting wasn’t his go-to choice. He was actually an electrician before breaking into show biz. He said he wasn’t really influenced by entertainment growing up. Having a major star for a father wasn’t all that impressive.
The eldest of the Gibson brood is Hannah, who was born in 1980. She’s an actress, too, as well as a makeup artist who has even worked on a bunch of her father’s films, including The Patriot and What Women Want.
Hannah is married to blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and they have three kids of their own. While not much is known about Hannah, I’m going to assume that she’s a strong woman considering she grew up with seven brothers! That’s no easy feat.
Christian was born in 1982 in Australia. Like some of his siblings (and his dad), he’s also entered the movie business. But unlike his dad, Christian prefers to work behind the scenes as a camera operator.
His movie credits include Bird Box, Hacksaw Ridge, The Equalizer 2, and Daddy’s Home 2. It’s pretty clear by now that there’s some nepotism going on in the Gibson family. Christian also has a twin brother, Edward. But as it turns out, Christian is the extrovert of the pair.
Edward seems to be a lot more private than his twin brother. It’s been rumored that Christian had a wild streak when he was younger. Nowadays, the 39-year-old keeps a pretty low profile. Show business wasn’t what this Gibson is into.
Instead of Hollywood, Christian chose furniture. He’s the founder of Natural Edge, an L.A.-based company that makes custom pieces of furniture from imported wood. You can find Edward on his Instagram account, but he’s devoted to his company. You probably won’t be seeing any red-carpet selfies.
Of all the Gibson kids, Louie looks the most like his dad, but the 32-year-old writer/director apparently doesn’t like to be compared to his dad, at least in the looks department. “I’m not as ugly as that guy,” he joked to The Daily Telegraph in 2017.
Louie was also born in Australia. He made his directorial debut with a horror flick called Happy Hunting. He’s married to actress Annet Mahendru, whom you might have seen on a number of series, including The Americans, The X-Files, The Following, and The Walking Dead: The World Beyond.
Lucia is the only child of Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva. Unfortunately, Lucia was born into a scandal as her dad was still married to his first wife at the time (in 2009). While Gibson and Grigorieva separated about a year after Lucia was born, the actor maintains a close relationship with his daughter.
Most photos of Lucia are of the paparazzi sort, but she also pops up on her mom’s Instagram page. Grigorieva was awarded $750,000 in their custody battle and a house in Sherman Oaks to live in until Lucia turns 18.