august 25, 2015
Mel Gibson was coming out of a French art house film when he stumbled into an Israeli film festival crowd during his controversial Sunday night at the movies, festival organisers said.
Gibson, 59, and his partner Rosalind Ross, 24, had planned a quiet movie night at the Palace Verona cinemas in trendy Paddington, Sydney, watching the acclaimed drama Far From Men.
But the couple's evening famously ended with a photographer alleging Gibson had pushed, spat at and swore at her.
The pair exited the theatre at the same time moviegoers were spilling out of an Israeli screening and some were reportedly upset to see him.
'Our screening of (Israeli film) Matti Caspi - Confession came out exactly at the same time as Far From Men,' festival artistic director Richard Moore said. 'So talk about wrong place, wrong time.'
It has also emerged detectives are reviewing CCTV footage in their investigation Daily Telegraph photographer Kristi Miller's claims Gibson shoved her in the back.
Ms Miller has also alleged he called her a 'dog' and a 'c***', among various other things.
'I thought he was going to punch me in the face,' the photographer and mother-of three told The Telegraph.
'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**t. It was non stop, he didn't even breathe
The filmmaker, who is spending time in Sydney filming the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge, denied the allegations via spokesman to Daily Mail Australia on Monday morning.
The allegations were a 'complete lie', the spokesman said, adding the Oscar-winner did 'not shove, or spit at anyone'.
Witness Eitan Bienstock was at the festival on the night and told Daily Mail Australia he saw Gibson after he had walked out of the theatre.
'We were kind of surprised to see Mel Gibson, regardless of any controversial views,' he said, adding Gibson is a 'movie star'.
'We were surprised because it was a very quiet evening - he was just walking with his girlfriend by himself. I don't know who or what happened inside.'
Mr Bienstock said he saw Gibson and his girlfriend walking on the street talking to the photographer.
He did not see Ms Miller get pushed, but said Gibson stood very close to her. The photographer seemed upset after the altercation.
'He was very calm and collected. He wasn't, he didn't seem drunk or vocal.'
Prior to their exit from the 110 minute film, the only difficulty Gibson and Ross had encountered was a 'funny time' buying movie tickets using Australian currency, sources said.
The couple's selected critically acclaimed 2014 drama tells the story of an ex-French army soldier who finds himself between two cultures during the Algerian war in 1954.
Many of the Israeli Film Festival attendees who they would soon encounter were watching Matti Caspi - Confession.
The film tells the story of a Israeli musician who experiences a public fall from grace.
T he Israeli Film Festival has invited Gibson to attend a screening in the next week.