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Gibson: 'I am not an anti-Semite'

Actor in rehab after arrest on suspicion of DUI

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released this booking photo of Mel Gibson.


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Mel Gibson

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Mel Gibson on Tuesday admitted making anti-Semitic remarks during his drunken driving arrest and appealed to the Jewish community to help him recover from his alcohol addiction.

"I'm not just asking for forgiveness," Gibson said in a statement issued through his publicist. "I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing."

Gibson, 50, said, "There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark."

He apologized to "everyone in the Jewish community."

"Please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith," Gibson said. (Read the full statement.)

Gibson was arrested in Malibu early Friday for alleged drunken driving.

The Academy Award winning actor-director entered a rehab program after his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, his publicist said Monday.

"He has entered into an ongoing program of recovery," said the publicist, Alan Nierob.

Meanwhile, Hollywood speculated about the fallout from Gibson's reported anti-Semitic and sexist remarks from Friday's arrest. (Watch how the incident could affect Gibson's career -- 1:54)

As the details of Gibson's arrest dominated water cooler conversations, the future of his high-profile projects came under question. The projects include a Mayan-language film called "Apocalypto" due later this year. A miniseries set during the Holocaust, which was to be produced in partnership with ABC, has been canceled by the network., which broke the story that Gibson had been arrested early Friday, reported Monday that the actor was stopped twice previously in the past three years "for reckless driving" but was let go without being cited. (Watch reaction to Gibson's alleged "f------ Jews" remark -- 3:00)

CNN could not immediately confirm the report by TMZ, which is owned by CNN parent company Time Warner. Gibson's representatives had no comment.

In addition, authorities involved in his arrest continued to fend off suggestions that they had "sanitized" a deputy's report.

Gibson issued a statement over the weekend saying that he drove and should not have after drinking alcohol on Thursday night.

Gibson apologizes

"The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person," he said in the statement.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said a preliminary test showed Gibson's blood alcohol level was 0.12. California's legal limit is .08. Gibson was released after posting $5,000 bond, and has not been charged, though he may be, the department said.

"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone who I have offended," Gibson said in his statement.

The Sheriff's Department stood by its initial release that Gibson's arrest occurred "without incident."

"Every time somebody is arrested, something out of the ordinary happens, but guns don't always have to be drawn. Without incident means without force," said spokesman Steve Whitmore.

TMZ reported that the deputy who arrested Gibson wrote a detailed report but that the Sheriff's Department released a much shorter version that left out many details -- including Gibson's angry comments. TMZ said it has four pages of the original report, which is how it learned the details of what Gibson allegedly said.

Whitmore denied allegations the report had been "sanitized" and vowed the final version will contain all the details, "lock, stock and barrel."

In the past, Gibson has participated in a Sheriff's Department charity that provides aid to the children of slain deputies. But Whitmore said Gibson was given no special treatment in his arrest.

"I will say it as long as you wish me to: absolutely not," he told reporters Monday.

The Sheriff's Department and Gibson's representatives have not commented on what Gibson said during his arrest.

Profanity-laced tirade reported

TMZ reported it was a profanity-laced tirade, and that the deputy audiotaped it. TMZ did not say it had heard the audiotape.

The Web site reported that Gibson's alleged remarks included: "(Expletive) Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

Nierob told CNN the actor has nothing more to add to his written statement, which did not specify what he said at the time of his arrest.

The Anti-Defamation League, which combats anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred, issued a statement branding Gibson an anti-Semite.

"Mel Gibson's apology is unremorseful and insufficient. It's not a proper apology because it does not go to the essence of his bigotry and his anti-Semitism," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman.

Gibson faced accusations of anti-Semitism during the publicity storm that surrounded his 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ." Foxman wrote that Gibson's "tirade finally reveals his true self" and shows his previous claims "that he is such a tolerant, loving person, were a sham."

Foxman added, "We would hope that Hollywood now would realize the bigot in their midst and that they will distance themselves from this anti-Semite."

The long-term effects of the events remained unclear, but headlines about the actor -- who also won an Oscar for directing "Braveheart" -- offered a glimpse of the challenges ahead for him.

" 'Despicable' words could taint Gibson," said the Hollywood Reporter. "Gibson gaffe could impact career," read Variety. A Los Angeles Times news analysis said, "Crossing this line could cost him deals."

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