Mel Gibson's director is worried that the actor's troubled and controversial past could turn a jury against him and is pleading to keep Gibson's personal life out of a lawsuit over the movie they worked on together.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the director of Gibson’s upcoming film, ‘"The Professor and the Madman," Farhad Safinia, believes the producers are going to try and bring up the actor’s past during the upcoming court trial.
Safinia sued Voltage Productions and Christchurch Productions for defamation after they released a statement accusing him and the actor of not living up to their contractual and professional responsibilities.
Gibson had filed a previous lawsuit against the producers months prior, alleging they breached their deal by not giving him approval of the final cut.
Both the director and Gibson accused producers of failing to shoot essential scenes at certain locations and trying to cut costs during production. Both legal battles have been going on for some time.
In his newly filed court docs, Safinia is seeking to ban any mention of Gibson’s past in the case, including him being "arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2006 and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge in connection with that arrest in 2006."
Further, he wants no mention of the domestic dispute he was involved in with his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, or his criminal conviction in that case.
The director wants to exclude any mention of Gibson's past "offensive and/or discriminatory statements including statements reported after his arrest in 2006 and his domestic dispute in 2010, and/or that he harbors views consistent with those statements."
Safinia says the jury would be unfairly prejudiced against Gibson and then against him. He states, “Mr. Gibson’s purported transgressions in his personal life have absolutely no relevance to the jury’s deliberations here.”
The director also asks that any mention of Gibson’s “history of alcohol abuse” not be mentioned in court.
He claims the defendants have been trying to “dirty up” him and his witnesses by seeking discovery on a number of Mel Gibson’s past transgressions “unrelated” to the claims before the jury.
The docs note that during Gibson’s depo, he was grilled about his criminal convictions and domestic violence with his former girlfriend. He says they clearly plan to try to bring this up during the trial and is demanding it be banned from being spoken about to the jury.
The trial is set to go down next month.