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Mel Gibson has found himself at the center of accusations of physical and verbal abuse by a photographer who claimed the actor shoved her and yelled an expletive-laden rant at her outside a Sydney cinema on Sunday.
News Corp Australia photographer Kristi Miller was allegedly embroiled in an altercation with Gibson outside the Palace Verona cinema, which is now being investigated by NSW Police.
According to the News Corp tabloid the Daily Telegraph, for which Miller was working, Gibson allegedly shoved her from behind after she took a photograph of the actor and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Rosalind Ross, leaving the cinema, which had been screening films as part of an Israeli film festival.
Gibson’s American publicist, Alan Nierob of the Rogers and Cowan agency, dismissed Miller’s claims as lies, the Telegraph reported.
“There was no physical contact whatsoever with this photographer, who was harassing my client and his friend,” Nierob said.
Gibson accused Miller of “invading” his space and “disrespecting” him by taking the photograph. Miller says she was several meters from the actor when the photographs were taken.
Miller told the Telegraph, “I thought he was going to punch me in the face.”
“He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe,” she reported.
Miller was supported by Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker, who said: “Mel Gibson is a major film star and movie director. He’s a public figure. Being a movie star does not give him the right to shove and insult someone.”
Gibson has kept a relatively low profile since arriving in Australia several months ago to shoot WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge. He attended the premiere of Tim Minchin’s musical Matilda on Thursday with Ross, and has been seen out and about with his daughter, Lucia, by former partner Oksana Grigorieva, who dropped a domestic violence claim against the actor in 2011.
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