Mel Gibson

WARNING: The recordings linked to this blog are unedited and very graphic

Ya know what’s not awesome? Watching one of your favorite actors crash and burn and turn into someone you weren’t expecting.  I once witnessed a very well known public figure kick his dog on my old street in L.A. Witnessing one now treating the mother of his child like a dog is obviously worse. In situations like this, I choose to look at every angle. In part to learn and probably in part to make myself feel better.

I want to be clear that I do believe that Oksana Grigorieva is the victim in this situation and no one should ever EVER be spoken to the way I’ve heard this woman spoken to. I wish that were clear to everyone, but I also know that there are hundreds of thousands of women who may have heard those recordings and have very likely heard worse in their own living room.

I suppose in a way I hope making these recordings public lets these women know they’re not alone- that it can happen to anyone from Milwaukee to Malibu. I also hope that it opened the eyes of people everywhere to how terrifying domestic violence can be. These conversations were via phone. I can’t imagine the fear of having that person beside me- ready and able to strike at any moment. The extreme anger in Gibson’s voice is so apparent it doesn’t seem at all possible that he would have been able to restrain himself.

Now, there are going to be a lot of people who think of Braveheart and all of the other wonderful films this man made and decide for themselves there must have been some provocation or that this simply can’t be true. I mean, it’s Mel Gibson for cryin’ out loud- he would never do this!! We “know” him. He’s not like that! And so goes the story of every neighbor or co-worker who turns a blind eye or is shocked to find the truth behind closed doors.

I don’t want to focus too much on my thoughts on Mel Gibson because I don’t want to appear as though I’m justifying his behavior. It’s horrifying and inexcusable. I do however believe that Mr. Gibson has sadly reached a point of mental illness- likely not a surprise to those close to him.  I don’t think it’s easy being a public figure. I don’t think everyone having access to your entire life at any given moment, particularly in this time of massive social media is healthy for anyone.  I think it’s the perfect storm to cause someone to, well…crack.

It’s all a very sad story and for better AND worse one that the public has front row seats to.



3 thoughts on “Mel Gibson

  1. Dianne Warren

    Thanks for sharing this, Erin. And I agree 100% with your post.
    I think it is important to note that Mel Gibson is an alcoholic who probably is actively drinking. This does NOT excuse his behavior in any way but unfortunately, as an alcoholic gets sicker, so does their behavior. I would suggest that anyone involved in the life of an alcoholic, whomever it may be (husband, parent, child family member, friend), consider attending the Family support group of Al-Anon for at least 6 meetings.

  2. Erin Weed

    Dianne, that’s a great suggestion. (One of the awesome GFB speakers, Megan, wrote this post.) In many instances abuse, violence, mental illness, overexposure in public life and a zillion other life complexities contribute to big societal problems. For this reason, it’s critical that we don’t put up walls as educators and activists. We must collaborate.

  3. Heather Maggs

    Great post, Megan! I literally felt sick to my stomach for hours after listening to these recordings. I agree with Dianne that while there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior, I do feel a little sorry for him. He is obviously a sick man and needs help, but judging from his over the top reaction to his wife’s suggestion that he needs medication, I’m guessing he isn’t ready for help. And that is a tragedy. I know so many recovering alcoholics who have in the past (while drinking) engaged in horrible behaviors. Now, these individuals are fully sober and living wonderful, productive, alcohol-free lives. I hope that the release of these tapes helps people better understand emotionally and verbally abusive relationships and maybe encourages people (both victims and perpetrators) to seek help.

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