Mel Gibson calls Robert Downey Jr. ‘brave and generous’ for calling on Hollywood to forgive Gibson after his 2006 arrest

15:33, April 9

Mel Gibson has praised his longtime friend and Air America co-star Robert Downey Jr. in an interview with Esquire magazine.

Gibson called Downey "brave, generous and kind" for calling on Hollywood to forgive Gibson after his infamous 2006 arrest, during which the Braveheart star made disparaging remarks about Jews. Gibson's anti-Semitic remarks blighted his Hollywood career.

“I once got into a bad situation that ended my career,” Gibson told Esquire. “I was drunk in the back seat of a police car and said something stupid, and suddenly: I was blacklisted. A couple of years later, [Robert] invited me to some awards ceremony... - we always had this swing, when he was on the cart, I would fall, and if I was on the cart, he would fall. I was practically non-existent in Hollywood at the time, and he stood up for me. It was a brave, generous and kind gesture. I love him for that."

Gibson is referring to the 2011 American Cinematheque Awards. Downey was the recipient of the annual award and used his speech to speak up for Gibson. Downey, a Jew, asked Hollywood to join him in "forgiving his friend his misdeeds, offering [Gibson] the same clean slate you gave me, and allowing him to continue his great and lasting contribution to our collective art without shame."

Downey noted that "if you're without sin, you're in the wrong industry," and you should consider giving Gibson a second chance.

The Iron Man star knew a thing or two about second chances in Hollywood, given that he himself was an industry pariah due to a string of legal troubles in the late 1990s. He was arrested in 1996 for possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded pistol and received three years probation. A year later, he was jailed for nearly four months after missing a court-ordered drug test. In 1999, he missed another test and was sentenced to three years in prison. Downey served 15 months, then was arrested again four months after his release for drug possession.

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