Controversial actor-director Mel Gibson has had a decade of ups and downs — from the mammoth success of his religious epic The Passion of the Christ to his notorious DUI arrest. Now his family life has taken a dive. Gibson’s wife of 28 years, Robyn Gibson, filed divorce papers with Los Angeles Superior Court on April 13; the Academy Award-winning star filed his own in response on the same day.
Both spouses cited irreconcilable differences. Robyn Gibson is seeking joint custody of their youngest son, Tom, who has just turned ten. (The couple also has six adult children, five of them sons.) She reportedly also wants the jewelry, assets, and earnings she has received since the couple’s separation, as well as a share of Gibson’s fortune and for him to pay spousal support and her attorney’s fees.
The American-Australian actor, meanwhile, has requested that attorney’s fees should come out of the couple’s joint property.
The Lethal Weapon and What Women Want star revealed in his own documents that they had been separated since August 26, 2006. This came only about a month after Gibson’s DUI bust in Malibu, California, in which he made anti-Semitic comments to one of the arresting officers and allegedly called a female officer by a sexist term. This has triggered speculation as to whether that incident resulted in the marital breakdown; according to the Los Angeles Times, insiders have reported that the Gibsons grew apart after the arrest.
“Throughout our marriage and separation,” the couple said in a joint statement quoted in People, “we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so.”
Gibson, 53, met Robyn Moore (then a dental assistant) shortly after shooting the 1979 movie Mad Max, when they both boarded in the same house in Adelaide, Australia. They married in June 1980.
Born in New York State but raised partly in Sydney, Australia, Mel Gibson began his acting career on Australian TV and became an international star with the Mad Max series. Other notable roles include the films Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously, Payback, and Signs, as well as the title role in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet. Braveheart — which Gibson directed, produced, and starred in — won several Oscars. He will next appear in the detective thriller Edge of Darkness.
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