Mel Gibson Claims Winona Ryder 'Lied' About His Alleged Anti-Gay and Anti-Semitic Remarks
By Jennifer Drysdale
Mel Gibson is denying Winona Ryder's claim that he made anti-gay and anti-Semitic remarks at a party they attended decades earlier. In a statement to ET on Tuesday, Gibson's rep called Ryder's recollection of the alleged incident -- which she shared with GQ in 2010 and repeated in a new interview with the The Sunday Times -- "100 percent untrue."
"This is 100 percent untrue. She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she’s lying about it now," the statement reads. "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."
In response to Gibson's statement, Ryder told ET: "I believe in redemption and forgiveness and hope that Mr. Gibson has found a healthy way to deal with his demons, but I am not one of them. Around 1996, my friend Kevyn Aucoin and I were on the receiving end of his hateful words. It is a painful and vivid memory for me. Only by accepting responsibility for our behavior in this life, can we make amends and truly respect each other, and I wish him well on this lifelong journey."
In Ryder's interview with The Sunday Times, published June 21, she detailed a few instances of anti-Semitism she claims to have experienced, including one involving Gibson.
"We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends," the Plot Against America actress began. "And 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?' And then something came up about Jews, and he said, 'You're not an oven dodger, are you?'"
In 2010, she told GQ: "I remember, like, 15 years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who's gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about 'oven dodgers,' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, 'He's anti-Semitic and he's homophobic.' No one believed me!""
Gibson's career saw a huge fallout over a decade ago, after a police report from his 2006 DUI arrest revealed he had made a number of anti-Semitic remarks. The actor was also heard using racial slurs in audio recordings of him screaming at his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. The recordings were published in 2010.
Gibson apologized for his comments, but it took years for his career to recover. In 2016, he made his directorial comeback with Hacksaw Ridge, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.