Mel Gibson Addresses Accusations of Anti-Semitism

"The other place it may have come from is, you know, as you know, a couple of years ago I released the film 'Passion.' … Even before anyone saw a frame of the film, for an entire year, I was subjected to a pretty brutal sort of public beating," he said.

"During the course of that, I think I probably had my rights violated in many different ways as an American. You know. As an artist. As a Christian. Just as a human being, you know."

Tens of millions of Christians who saw the film said it was simply evoking the New Testament version of Jews, Romans, and the brutal crucifixion of Jesus.

But the leaders of several Jewish organizations launched a campaign arguing that Gibson had seeded the film with deliberately anti-Semitic images. They also warned that Gibson might be inciting a new wave of hatred and even of violence against Jews.

He said that never happened.

"The film came out. It was released, and you could have heard a pin drop, you know. Even the crickets weren't chirping," he said. "But, the other thing I never heard was the one single word of apology."

"I thought I dealt with that stuff. All forgiveness, but, the human heart's a funny thing. Sometimes you can bear the scars of resentment. And … it'll come out, you know, when you're overwrought, you take a few drinks," he said. "There was anger from that, I think. … My resentment stemmed from certain individuals treating me in a certain way."

But can't the individuals he had wanted to apologize now argue they were right about what's inside him?

Gibson said he didn't know if a person could say anti-Semitic and intolerant things and not be anti-Semitic and intolerant.

"I don't know the answer to that question. Because one changes from day to day. And there are different forces exercised on you. … And people every day say things they don't mean. And things they don't feel. They may feel them temporarily. I mean we're … we're all broken," he said.

Gibson said he was now learning more about those who were hearing his words in an earlier apology. He asked the Jewish community for dialogue and help.

"I heard back that a woman who had read the apology actually wept with relief," he said. "Now, that sort of hit me. I was like, 'Relief? Oh, my God. She was afraid. She was terrified.'"

"I don't think I realized until like a couple of … four days later, five days later, that what I did was press a big fear button," Gibson said. "I didn't realize the level of fear that … that was there."

"It was just the stupid ramblings of a drunkard, you know, and I guess I had to sort of think, well, hang on. It's conceivable that they think I can be the next … uh, goose-stepping maniac to come into their neighborhood," he said.

But for several years, there has been one other question that has plagued him: the fact that his father has famously publicly expressed doubts that 6 million Jews were really murdered in the Holocaust.

Three years ago in an interview, Gibson told ABC News that he believed 6 million Jews were murdered.

But when asked to repudiate the assertions of his father, he declined.

"He's my father. Gotta leave it alone, Diane. Gotta leave it alone," Gibson said during that interview.

The last time we went down this road, Sawyer said, "Yeah, I bit your head off," Gibson replied.

But Gibson's father has gone on the record saying that the Holocaust is "mostly fiction."

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