London: Hollywood veteran Mel Gibson has denied the claims of actor Winona Ryder who has once again alleged that the actor-filmmaker made anti-Semitic and homophobic comments during a party many years ago. Ryder has levelled the allegation against Gibson many times, including in her 2010 profile interview with GQ magazine.
She reiterated the accusations during an interview with The Sunday Times, where she was asked whether she had ever experienced anti-Semitism in the film industry.
Ryder, 48, then recalled a Hollywood party in the 1990s and said that Gibson called her an "oven dodger", a derogatory term for a person of Jewish heritage, when he learned about her background.
"We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends. 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?'" the actor said.
Ryder further revealed that Gibson, 65, tried to apologise to her at a later date.
A representative of Gibson responded to Ryder's claims, calling them as "100 per cent untrue", according to Variety. "She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she's lying about it now. Also, she lied about him trying to apologise 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 actor's spokesperson said.
Ryder, however, is not backing down and released a statement to counter Gibson's response. "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 behaviour in this life, can we make amends and truly respect each other, and I wish him well on this lifelong journey," she said in her statement.
Gibson's career has been plagued by accusations of both anti-Semitic and homophobic behaviour. In 1991, Gibson made derogatory remarks about gay sex during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.
During a 2006 DUI (driving under influence) arrest, Gibson had said that, "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world". The actor has also been recorded on tape making racist remarks against his ex-girlfriend, Russian singer-songwriter Oksana Grigorieva.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)