Mel Gibson Considers His DUI a Blessing

In his first media interview since his infamous California DUI arrest in Malibu, California, Mel Gibson told Diane Sawyer that he needed "public humiliation on a global scale" to get sober. The late July incident forced Gibson to face many personal issues, leading the 50-year old actor to call his California DUI arrest "a blessing".

“Sometimes you need a cold bucket of water in the face to sort of snap to, because you’re dealing with a sort of malady of the soul, an obsession of the mind and a physical allergy.”

Now claiming over two months of sobriety, Gibson has admitted to a long battle with alcoholism and he said it is a continued struggle to stay sober. He also said that he had started drinking again about two months before his DUI arrest.

"Years go by, you’re fine," he says. "And then all of a sudden in a heartbeat, in an instant, on an impulse, somebody shoves a glass of Mescal in front of your nose and says, ‘It’s from Oaxaca.’ And it’s burning its way through your esophagus and you go, ‘Oh man, what did I do that for? I can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.”

Gibson earned himself international headlines with the verbal tirade made during his DUI arrest on July 28. He said to a Los Angeles police officer that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” and then asked the officer if he was a Jew.

Gibson called his anti-Semitic diatribe “the stupid ramblings of a drunkard.” He said he has since apologized “more than anyone I know.”

Several groups however, including Jewish leaders and addiction experts, say Mel Gibson must do more if he wants to make amends, including being more accountable for his behavior.

Entertainment publicist Michael Levine said Gibson “did not reach out as he could have. Even in their most drunken moments, they don’t utter something that has never crossed their minds.”

Others feel that the Gibson interview was a strategic public relations move rather than a rehabilitative or apologetic effort.

During the interview he admitted being very concerned about how he looked in his police mugshot. “The first thing that went through my mind was Nick Nolte’s photograph. Vanity won out.”

In a plea bargain arranged by his California DUI defense attorney last August, Gibson pleaded no contest to drunk driving and agreed to serve three years of probation, pay a fine and seek alcohol rehabilitation.  He also must make public-service announcements about the dangers drinking and driving.

Gibson says he wants to continue making movies, though he accepts he has alienated influential people in the movie industry. His latest movie ‘Apocalypto’, which he co-wrote, directed and financed, will be released in December.

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