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Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has accused Mel Gibson of using him to defend his anti-Semitic reputation.
Eszterhas wrote a screenplay for a film called The Maccabees, which was about a heroic revolt by Jews and which Gibson was intended to direct. However, Warner Bros. has now indefinitely shelved the project.
But now Eszterhas said, in a nine-page letter to Gibson, that the actor-director only attached himself to the project to counter the anti-Semitism he has displayed in recent years.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews,” Eszterhas said.
The screenwriter, who wrote Basic Instinct (1992), added that Gibson exhibited wild behavior when they collaborated on the script. His letter also states that Gibson offered friendship to two FBI agents if they would help him kill his former girlfriend Oksana Gregorieva, with whom Gibson has a daughter.
Gregorieva recorded Gibson making racist and threatening remarks at her in 2010. Four years earlier, Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks after Malibu police pulled him over for drunken driving.
“You said the Holocaust was 'mostly a lot of horseshit.' You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants,” Eszterhas said. “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).”
Gibson has yet to comment on the matter.
One person not surprised by the allegations is Rabbi Marvin Hier. He objected to Gibson’s involvement in the Maccabee project when it was announced in September.
“I was not among those that offered any forgiveness,” Hier said.
Eszterhas’s father was a Nazi during World War II.
“I decided then—in 1989—that my father was a true-believing, heartfelt antisemite, one of those sick Christian freaks who still blamed the Jews for crucifying Christ,” he said.