august 23, 2015
MOMENTS after this picture was taken, Mel Gibson snapped.
The Oscar-winning Australian actor shoved The Daily Telegraph photographer Kristi Miller and launched into a tirade that only ended when his young girlfriend intervened.
“I thought he was going to punch me in the face,” the news photographer and mother-of-three said.
“He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c ... It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”
Gibson accused Miller, 39, of “invading” his space and “disrespecting” him by taking the photograph.
“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around he shoved my back really hard,” Miller explained. “It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow.”
Miller was visibly shaken by the altercation outside Palace Verona Cinema on busy Oxford St, Paddington, and said she feared she would be pushed on to the road. Gibson, 59, held his clenched fist and stood over her with onlookers later stepping in to see if she was OK.
The veteran actor’s 24-year-old girlfriend, the champion US equestrian vaulter Rosalind Ross, was by his side and was overheard apologising. “He was backing me on to the road,” Miller said.
“It was only when (Ross) grabbed his shoulder and said, ‘that is enough’ that he stopped. She said, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry’. They turned and crossed the road and walked off.”
The incident was last night reported to police.
Gibson was photographed leaving a screening of the film Far From Men, set at the outset of the Algerian War in 1954.
Gibson mingled with theatregoers attending the Australian Israeli Film Festival, which was showing Matti Caspi — Confession at the Paddington cinema at the same time.
Gibson’s Australian representatives at Shanahan Management refused to comment, as did Palace Verona Cinema.
Gibson is in the country in pre-production to direct World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge. He will film the movie around NSW from next month.
“I’m so glad to be here again, working here again, bumping into people I’ve known for years, decades, again,” he said last month.