And controversial recordings of phones conversations between the two main parties were leaked to the press.
The recordings are nasty, filled with some of the ugliest, filthiest and most bitter vitriol a human being can utter. The human spewing the hate is Mel Gibson. Only this time there is no drunken-DUI incident to explain it all away as he did in 2006 when he was accused of being a racist and a misogynist. This time it's a man filled with rage, using words like weapons to crush and decimate an ex-lover with whom he now shares a child.
I cannot emphasize enough how little I care for the gossip and tawdriness of the personal lives of the privileged. Not to diminish pain and abuse wherever it may be found, but there are people in the world suffering far more, enduring worse treatment, and not garnering the same attention to their plight because they are not rich, beautiful and famous.
It simply strikes a chord of profound disappointment inside me that an artist I grew up admiring and respecting, an artist who is world-renowned for his films as both an actor and a director, is such a supreme asshole.
There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. He is an angry, mean person and I don't need a voice analysis expert to verify for me that it is indeed Mel Gibson's voice on those tapes because I know that voice well.
I heard that voice screaming and yelling profanities in a restaurant three years ago. I wrote a column about it for the February 2007 edition of Scene4 called, The Face of An Artist. Today in 2010, I struggle with the same dilemma I had back then about how one separates the art from the artist when said artist behaves badly. And in this case, continues to exhibit the same distorted behavior, seemingly never learning, growing and transcending out of the quagmire of his own making.
I didn't want to know much about Mel Gibson. I especially didn't want to know his demons. It's unavoidable in the Communication Age. And sadly, it probably will keep me from having an interest in what Mel Gibson the artist has to say because Mel Gibson the man has said quite enough.
Scene4, February 2007 - The Face of An Artist