The BBC will demand corrections from media outlets which erroneously reported that Mel Gibson tried to excuse his past antisemitic comments during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show last Friday.
Publications, including the Independent and NME.com, said the Hollywood actor, who was on the BBC1 chat show with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg to promote a new comedy film, had defended his comments by claiming he was drunk at the time.
The reports quoted him as discussing the incident in 2006 when he launched into an antisemitic tirade after being detained for a traffic violation.
He is supposed to have told Mr Norton: “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime.
“And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
However, a BBC spokesperson denied Gibson had mentioned the incident while on the show.
The spokesperson told the JC; “I don’t know where that came from, he didn’t talk about it at all.
“There was one line he said about how he was surprised that Hollywood had accepted him back and how he spent the time reflecting and writing. So where that came from, I don’t know.”
She said an Australian media outlet running the story had already been asked to correct it, and that other publications would now be contacted.
The programme, which is available on BBC’s iPlayer online screening service, contains no reference to the incident from the Braveheart star.
Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in 2006. His comments to the arresting officer included the words “f***ing Jews... the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?"
The arresting officer, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee, was Jewish.
This is not the only time Gibson has been in trouble over his comments. In 2010 he was recorded telling his then-partner, Oksana Grigorieva, that she looked “like a f***ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n******, it will be your fault." He later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour battery charge, and was barred from coming near Ms Grigorieva or their child as a result of a domestic-violence related restraining order.