The enmity between Mel Gibson and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas somehow found a way to get even worse: an incendiary audio rant of Gibson has now been unleashed on an unsuspecting internet. It goes without saying that the contents are NSFW.
But first, some background: Eszterhas had until recently been writing Gibson’s long touted movie about the Biblical Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee (a film the Basic Instinct scribe had described as a “Jewish Braveheart“). Earlier this month, however, the partnership soured big time.
On April 11, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Eszterhas’ screenplay had been rejected by Warner Brothers; the same day, industry website The Wrap obtained a 9-page letter Eszterhas wrote claiming, among other things, that Gibson continued to threaten violence against his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, and alleging that the only reason the actor wanted to make the movie was to “deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism.” Eszterhas also blamed Gibson for the project’s troubles. “The reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one,” he wrote. “You hate Jews.”
Gibson fired back with a letter of his own that circulated on Deadline Hollywood and elsewhere saying that the “great majority” of what Eszterhas’ statements were “utter fabrications”. “I guess you only had a problem with me after Warner Brothers rejected your script.” Eszterhas later appeared on NBC’s Today show revealing that he had an audio recording proving that Gibson said some terrible things, harking back to the profanity-filled audio leaked online in 2010 in which Gibson allegedly raged at Grigorieva.
Yesterday, that audio — from an altercation between Gibson and Eszterhas in Costa Rica in December — was published by The Wrap. And, yes, there’s lots of yelling about the Maccabees script and unpublishable apparent references to his ex-girlfriend and general curses being hurled around. It can be heard here.
“My interest isn’t to damage him with this tape but to prevent damage being done to others, starting with Jews, including Oksana and now, I’m sure, me,” Eszterhas told The Wrap. It doesn’t appear as if Gibson has commented further on the vitriol-filled exchange, although TMZ is reporting that he is mulling a lawsuit against the screenwriter for being “secretly recorded.”