Last week, while waiting for the last of my rolls of film to develop at Fred Meyer's, I sat in a comfy chair and actually read a few of the celebrity magazines, People and Us Weekly, because both featured stories about Mad Mel's recent sojourn in the media spotlight. The articles were insightful and pretty much confirmed what I've suspected. You don't really know how true these stories are, but I think People Magazine tends to have stricter standards on the stories it runs. Its not as careless as the National Enquirer, a tabloid I find a terrible waste of paper and not worth anyone's time (*although for disclosure's sake, I did buy the issue that featured the massage therapist's allegations against Gore).
Based on what I read, things seemed to start going off the rails for Mad Mel in 2006, the year he got arrested for DUI. However, I think the firestorm of criticisms and allegations of anti-semitism during the theatrical release of his controversial torture porn film about Jesus really hit a deep nerve with him, because his father was brought into the spotlight (his father being a very bigoted and anti-semitic Holocaust denier). Though the movie was a huge hit (he put up $30 million of his money to finance the film and it raked in over $300 million at the box office, due in large part to evangelical Christian groups making his film a "recruiting tool" for their outreach ministries), it came at a huge price. Gibson either returned to drinking or he started drinking even more.
In 2006, he delayed the release of his Apocalypto, about the Mayans or the Aztecs (I forget which), from August to a Christmas Day release. I thought that was a strange move. That's exactly what I want to see on Christmas Day...an extremely violent movie that shows a massive genocide of people being sacrificed at the ancient pyramids in Central America. In addition to the DUI, Mel started seeing a younger lady, Oksana Grigorieva while still married to Robyn, the lady who gave birth to their seven children and was with him from the very beginning...before he was ever famous. After seeing paparazzi photos of Mad Mel frolicking on some Mexican beach with Oksana, Robyn filed for divorce. Good for her! He's been on a downward spiral ever since.
In the articles I've read, longtime friends of the Gibsons were shocked by Mad Mel's abandonment of his wife. Apparently, he suffers from manic-depression (based on how he comes across in interviews, I can't say that I'm surprised. He can get a bit manic at times, like Robin Williams). Robyn was supposedly a stabilizing influence on Mad Mel. Friends of the couple told the magazines that they were shocked by the way Mad Mel speaks to Oksana on the tapes, because they never heard him speak that way to Robyn. If this is true, it represents a huge descent into possible madness. Man, what a tragedy! Also, the friends of the Gibsons don't understand what Mad Mel sees in Oksana, as she apparently does not have a sense of humour and they have virtually nothing in common.
In listening to the released tapes of Mad Mel's conversations with Oksana, it is shocking to see a man so unhinged, at times unable to breathe because he's so angry with her. She has a lot of power over him. How did she get such power? What is it about her? Yeah, she's gorgeous. But so is Robyn. Why trade someone who has been there for you since the beginning and one you share a long history with for a younger model you have nothing in common with? It doesn't make sense. Or does it? The story is as old as the Bible. Remember Samson and Delilah? Delilah was an evil temptress who used Samson's love for her to destroy him. Is Oksana a modern day Delilah?
Since the tapes have been released, there have been claims that the tapes were doctored. That is a good possibility. Oksana is a musical artist with experience in sound mixing. In listening to the tapes, she comes across calm, cool, and reasonable to a crazed, unhinged mad man. Its quite possible that she doctored the tapes to make herself look good, redubbing lines in a calm manner. Perhaps in reality, she was yelling at him, too. There is something creepy about the unnatural calm she displays towards a man getting angrier and angrier in his demands. I have no doubt that Oksana probably knew all the buttons to push that would set off Mad Mel so she could record her "evidence". She's a beautiful woman who likely has experience playing men to her advantage.
The one constant that I heard in these tapes is Mad Mel's apparent need for fellatio. He threatens Oksana with the idea that her "friend" was making eyes at him that indicated she would "blow" him if Oksana wouldn't. Another fight occurred because Oksana had fallen asleep when Mad Mel wanted her to blow him first, before they went to the jacuzzi. He also threatened to burn the house up, but he expected her to blow him. Perhaps that's the reason why he left Robyn for Oksana. This young Russian beauty was willing to do what Robyn no longer wanted to do? This male need for fellatio in mid-life has gotten both President Bill Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in trouble, as they sought it out in willing younger women who weren't their wives. When I was in the Navy, I heard guys make exceptions to their marital vows. Supposedly, receiving oral sex from someone other than one's spouse was not really "cheating." If this is the reason why Mad Mel threw away a 29-year marriage to be with a lady he had very little in common with, he really is a stupid idiot. Now this relationship is over. I guess he'll have to find another young starlet wannabe who is willing to give him what he wants.
After I read the articles in the celebrity magazines, a thought occurred to me: what if this was Satan's revenge? In The Passion of the Christ, Satan appears as an androgynous being (and as a snake, if I remember correctly, which Jesus violently stomps to death). The movie inspired debate about Christianity and what Christians should focus on (the life of Jesus or the death and resurrection?). Many evangelical Christians saw this film as a perfect recruiting tool, which I thought was absurd. If I knew nothing about Jesus and this film was my first exposure, my first impression of Christianity would be, "Why do Jesus' followers seem to enjoy his torture and death a little too much? Where is the evidence that such a man lived a life worth following?" Its absurd to think that this torture porn film would inspire non-violent Buddhists to convert to Christianity. Many are happy thinking of Jesus as the younger brother to Buddha.
So, if Satan exists, perhaps he sent Oksana to be the Delilah to Mad Mel's Sampson. A great and powerful man, who claims to be devoutly religious, has fallen. Willing to toss aside a nearly 30-year marriage to a supportive woman who had been there for him when he was a nobody. All for the sake of a blow job?!? That's pretty sad. Its also sad that he allows himself to rage in heart attack territory, all because of his childish demand that she blow him when he wants it. I honestly don't know what to make of Mad Mel anymore. He lost his way, obviously, since 2004. Its proof of the absurdity of trying to convert other people to your religious beliefs. Mad Mel would have done his soul greater justice if he borrowed elements from Buddhism, which is all about conversion of self. After all, we truly cannot know another person and what their soul needs. We make guesses, oftentimes to validate our choices. "Jesus turned my life around, and he can do the same for you if you just do what I did!" Many Christians think its selfish to focus on your own spiritual growth. Actually, its not. Its quite liberating when you realize that you're not here to convert other people to your way of thinking.
A more introspective Mad Mel would examine why he needed fellatio all the time. Why he viewed women's role as lips on his appendage. In 2000, he scored a hit with the romantic comedy What Women Want. In the film, he played the sexist Nick Marshall, who was raised by a stripper in Las Vegas. A mishaps in the bathroom, where he nearly electrocuted himself in the bathtub, gave him the gift to read women's minds. Perhaps Mad Mel didn't learn the appropriate lessons from his own movie. Women are more than just their lips on your appendage, Mad Mel! Have a real conversation with them, get to know what makes them tick, and maybe get to know Colonel Angus! I'm sure Oksana would appreciate that lovely gesture, when you're the giver and not the demanding receiver.
With this scandal, I really hope Mad Mel takes some time off to refocus on his life's priorities. It would probably be best if he doesn't jump into another relationship...nor have a series of casual flings with willing young starlets (I'm sure there are plenty of Monica Lewinsky wannabes dying for the opportunity to blow Mad Mel). If I was a personal friend of Mad Mel, I'd have him travel to a place like Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, or India for a year. Read up on books about Buddhism and Hinduism. Learn about the introverted religions of the east. Find what resonates. Mad Mel is a likable guy. He wouldn't have been a huge success in Hollywood if he didn't have his charm and habit for joking (of course, having looks that many women find drop-dead handsome doesn't hurt, either).
I personally think that the unintended consequences of The Passion of the Christ (the phenomenal success alongside the controversies) had a negative effect on Mad Mel, thus why he has been on the self-destructive path since 2006. Though the media secretly desires it, I really do not want to see Mad Mel become this decade's O.J. Simpson. Oksana can push his buttons, but he can also walk away from it all. After all, a part of him recognizes it when he yelled at her that they had no spiritual connection. Well, its kind of hard to have a spiritual connection when Mad Mel is so far disconnected from his soul. There is a path out of the madness, Mel. If you don't get yourself back to saner pastures, I fear that the only career option you have in the future is thus: