Mel Gibson, 56, escorted his latest love interest to see the premiere of Matilda The Musical at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, Australia on Thursday night, August 20, 2015. Struggling with a bipolar disorder exacerbated by critics ignorant of the condition and its implications, the troubled actor seems to have found a new lease on life in American equestrian champion Rosalind Ross, 24.
Having kept his private life below the radar since his breakup from Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson has once more stepped into the limelight with a partner. The age disparity between Gibson and Ross makes her younger than all his seven children from his first marriage.
An American transplant to Australia, Gibson married his first wife, Australian actress Robyn Denise Moore on June 7, 1980 in New South Wales. After 26 years of marriage and seven children, the couple separated in 2006 and finalized their divorce on December 23, 2011. The settlement of $400 million going to Robyn was the highest in Hollywood history.
According to Wikipedia, Gibson was linked in 2009 to Russian Pianist Oksana Grigorieva who had a son with British actor Timothy Dalton. She and Gibson had their daughter Lucia that same year, but domestic conflict between them escalated to their filing restraining orders against each other. A Yahoo! article indicated that a custody battle between the couple ended in a settlement in 2011 whereby Lucia was given the same benefits as Gibson's other seven children and Grigorieva received $750,000 from him.
Like other bipolar sufferers who turn to substance abuse to placate their inner demons, Gibson resorted to binge drinking to a point when he needed help from Alcoholics Anonymous. Compulsive and suicidal, he once threw anti-Semitic slurs at a traffic officer to provoke a death-by-cop scenario. Stressful incidents triggered off his depressive behavior, mouthing off words to invite violence from others.
Many people heard his public raving, not the reason behind it. According to L.A. Times, Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Institute, called for a boycott of Gibson's movies, while Eric P. Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in California, denounced Gibson's rants as sexist and racist.
Controversy over Gibson's offensive utterances carried over to his work, such as his 2004 film The Passion of Christ which was nominated for three Academy Awards and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture. It earned $611,899,420 globally, becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time.
Movie critic Katha Pollitt, writing for The Nation, slammed Gibson's film for negative stereotyping, and Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman labelled it anti-Semitic. In Gibson's defense, Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin repudiated Foxman's accusation, and radio host Michael Medved on Beliefnet, questioned anyone's right to tell Christians to deny the New Testament.
Rosalind Ross, who has dropped her equestrian ambitions to become a scriptwriter for Gibson, recently defused a situation in which he berated a photographer for taking their pictures. Could she be the missing piece needed to complete Mel Gibson and tame the Mad Max in him?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]