Mel Gibson has been accused of sabotaging a film because he allegedly “hates Jews”. The extraordinary claims are made by scriptwriter Joe Eszterhas, who had been due to work with Gibson on The Maccabees.
The project, which would have told the story of the Jewish Maccabee revolt in the 2nd Century B.C. was shelved by Warner Bros, after the script apparently "didn't pass muster".
The accusations are part of a nine-page missive from Eszterhas, obtained by The Wrap, which alleges the actor went on explosive anit-Semite rants and frequently made threats to kill Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his youngest daughter.
Of John Lennon, Eszterhas claims Gibson said: “I’m glad he’s dead. He deserved to be shot. He was f**king messianic. Listen to his songs! Imagine. I hate that f**king song. I’m glad he’s dead.”
Eszterhas, who wrote the scripts for Betrayed and Music Box, films which both condemned anti-Semitism, accuses Gibson of using him in "an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-semitism which have dogged you [Gibson], which have crippled your [his] career."
For his part, the Braveheart actor has responded with a letter published on TMZ: "Both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time.
“The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other factor."
Gibson also apologised for using "colourful" language, but said that much of Eszterhas's allegations were "utter fabrications."
Eszterhas, who also penned erotic thrillers Basic Instinct and Sliver, claims Gibson referred to Jews as "Hebes", "oven-dodgers" and "Jewboys" and that the Holocaust was "mostly a lot of horses**t".
Gibson has faced accusations of anti-semitism in the past, after unleashing a barrage of slurs towards a police officer after he was charged with drink driving in Malibu in 2006.
The father-of-eight apologised for making "despicable" statements and admitted he had battled alcoholism all of his adult life.
His conviction for drink driving was cleared after the 56-year-old completed a rehabilitation program.
In 2010 a series of phonecalls between Gibson and Grigorieva were leaked online in which the actor referred to his ex-girlfriend as a “whore” and suggested she dressed so provocatively she deserved to be raped by a group of black men.