LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning film star Mel Gibson, who made worldwide news by unleashing an anti-Semitic tirade during his 2006 arrest for drunk driving, received a judge’s approval on Wednesday to serve the rest of his probation without appearing in court again.
Superior Court Judge Lawrence Mira told the 52-year-old “Passion of the Christ” director that he had completed the requirements of his no-contest plea and was not required to make further progress reports to the court.
“You’re on your own now with the self-help groups, so this is the most difficult time for you,” Mira told a subdued Gibson during a brief hearing in Los Angeles. “Good luck to you as you continue your rehabilitation.”
The actor, who was escorted into court by sheriffs deputies via a back entrance, spoke in court only to thank the judge.
Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on July 28, 2006, by a police officer who spotted him weaving across traffic along Pacific Coast Highway near his home in the beachside community of Malibu.
The incident triggered a media frenzy when a police report showed that he had made anti-Semitic remarks to the officer who had detained him.
The screen star later apologized for the rant and after entering the no-contest plea to drunk driving in August, 2006, was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to pay $1,400 in fines and attend alcohol rehabilitation.
Gibson, who first achieved Hollywood stardom by playing a post-apocalyptic survivor in the 1979 box office smash “Mad Max,” won an Academy Award as the director of 1995’s “Braveheart.”
“Passion of the Christ,” which was released in 2004, became one of the highest-grossing films of the decade.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Philip Barbara