Media analyst and Hollywood observer James Hirsen tells Newsmax that the Mel Gibson heard ranting and raving against his ex-girlfriend on a series of audiotapes “is not the person that I know.”
Hirsen also cautions that it’s too early to say whether the tapes have destroyed the Oscar-winning actor-director’s career.
Hirsen, who considers himself a friend of Gibson, is a New York Times best-selling author and law professor who writes the Left Coast Report column for Newsmax.
In a Newsmax interview, he was asked about the impact of the series of obscenity-laced tapes released by RadarOnline.com in which Gibson viciously berates Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his 8-month old daughter, and uses several racial slurs.
“For the moment, all the experts are proclaiming his career over,” Hirsen says.
“But he has his own studio. He is autonomous, so it’s not going to stop his work. It may stop certain people from working with him for some time, but that has to do with what actions he takes in the future.
“He has received a tremendous boost from people like Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Downey Jr., and mostly people who have had some sort of relationship with him and his family and know the man, as opposed to those who are judging him strictly by the stories and the tapes.
“He’s been in the business a very long time and there are tons of people who have worked with him and know him. That person on the tape is not the person that I know or that other people who have worked with Mr. Gibson know. He has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, with all kinds of positive attributes.”
Hirsen cites a court statement from Gibson’s soon to be ex-wife wife Robyn saying she was with him for nearly 30 years and he was never abusive. The statement helped persuade a judge not to take away Gibson’s visiting rights with his daughter by Oksana.
“I think we have not heard the other side, and I think we need to wait and hear the other side of the story,” Hirsen says.
Hirsen was asked how the “Braveheart” actor is dealing with the scandal that has erupted over the audiotapes.
“It seems to me, based on my sources, that he’s constructively engaged, that he is dealing with the priorities the way he should,” he tells Newsmax.
“And of course, there is a pending criminal investigation [in a domestic violence case] and a custody dispute in court, so he has a lot of legal issues that he is wrangling with.
“But the person that I know is not the person I hear on tape. He is in a good place and he’s working toward properly interfacing with professionals that are helping him, particularly in the custody case and the pending criminal dispute.”
Grigorieva claims Gibson struck her and damaged two teeth, but the TMZ website reports that her dentist says there is no evidence of a blow to the mouth.
“The dentist who did the repair took a picture and told that same website, TMZ, that he thought the picture was, quote, 100 percent fake, that the picture had been tampered with,” Hirsen says.
Also, forensic experts hired to examine the tapes claim they have been edited, with pieces strung together, Hirsen notes. He adds that if the picture or tapes were doctored, that would allow Gibson’s lawyers to argue that those items of evidence would be inadmissible both in the custody case and a potential criminal charge against Gibson.
Asked if it is known for sure who has been leaking tapes, Hirsen responds: “Oksana says she did not leak them, and that leads to the question, if that’s true, who did?
“It would seem clear that somebody in her camp, whether it’s a lawyer or publicist, gave it to this website RadarOnline.”
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