A rep for Mel Gibson shut down Winona Ryder‘s allegations of making anti-semitic and homophobic comments in the past. The Braveheart actor’s rep said the claims are “100 percent untrue” after the Stranger Things actress claimed she allegedly witnessed Gibson make the remarks during “a crowded party” with one of her good friends.
“She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press [in 2010], and she’s lying about it now,” Gibson’s rep told Closer Weekly on June 23. “Also, she lied about him trying to apologize to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.”
The rep’s statement comes days after Ryder, 48, made allegations of anti-semitism and homophobia in an interview with the Sunday Times. “Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking and he said to my friend, who’s gay, ‘Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?'” the Beetlejuice actress recalled on June 21. “And then something came up about Jews, and he said [to me], ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’”
Although Ryder claimed Gibson, 64, “tried” to apologize later, she said the alleged incident was just one of the many “interesting ways” she experienced anti-semitism and homophobia in Hollywood.
“There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’” she told the outlet. “There was a movie that I was up for a long time ago, it was a period piece, and the studio head, who was Jewish, said I looked ‘too Jewish’ to be in a blue-blooded family.”
While Ryder noted she’s “not religious,” she told the Sunday Times she does “identify” as a proud Jewish woman. “It’s a hard thing for me to talk about because I had family who died in the camps, so I’ve always been fascinated with that time,” the Girl, Interrupted actress added.
This isn’t the first time Gibson has been accused of being anti-semitic. In July 2006, the Passion of the Christ star had a controversial public outburst while being arrested for a suspected DUI. “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!” he yelled, according to a police report at the time.
Years following the arrest, Gibson opened up about the “unfortunate incident” as he chatted with Variety in 2016. “I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever,” he explained.
Gibson added, “I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation. And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”