Gibson empathizes with Richards

Nov. 30, 2006 at 12:29 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. comic Michael Richards is getting support from someone who's been in his situation: Aussie actor-producer-director Mel Gibson.

Gibson, who uttered an anti-Semitic oath after being pulled over for drunk driving, told Entertainment Weekly he feels bad for Richards, who hurled racial epithets during a stand-up routine.

"He was obviously in a state of stress. You don't need to be inebriated to be bent out of shape," Gibson said. "I felt like sending Michael Richards a note."

Gibson said the media will "probably torture (Richards) for a while and then let him go."

Gibson also told Entertainment Weekly he is not anti-Semitic, but the drunken driving incident and his movie "The Passion of the Christ" left him with a "horrible feeling."

"My God, I made people afraid. I thought, 'Who would be afraid of me?' But all of a sudden I realized I could make people afraid," he said. "I don't want to make anyone afraid." That's what this film is about -- using fear -- and I was inadvertently doing that without realizing it."

Fortunately, he said, people did not use the movie to fuel fear.

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