The "Braveheart" and "Lethal Weapon" star has become a polarizing figure in recent years due to anti-Semitic remarks he made during a 2006 drunken driving arrest and his stormy relationship with his ex-girlfriend, which ended in a no-contest plea to a battery charge this year.
In a rare interview, Gibson told celebrity Web site Deadline many of his friends still have his back -- even if they don't say so in public.
Asked what he thinks of Goldberg publicly defending him, Gibson replied: "I knew Whoopi before she was Whoopi. And, as she's great and I always liked her and loved her. I like her even more now because she got it."
Told that Goldberg took a lot of criticism for defending him, Gibson told Deadline: "I know. I love her for it."
The star said he didn't care few others were moved to defend him in public.
"That doesn't bother me. Why would anyone want to speak publicly and drag themselves through this crap? It seems to add fuel to the fire. Very many people are supportive, of course, but you find out who your friends are. I have many friends and they've been great," he said.
In talking about future projects, Gibson insisted he "could easily not act again."
"It's not a problem," emphasized the co-star of Foster's upcoming film, "The Beaver."
"I'm going to do something now because I want to do it and because it's fun. I've already pulled another job and it's going to be fun. I don't know if it's going to get off the ground, but I'm going to go work for Randy Wallace again."
Wallace wrote the screenplay for "Braveheart," which won the 1996 Best Picture Oscar.
"He's got this script and he's had it for years," Gibson said. "He wrote some book and he's adapted it to a script. And it's almost like Alexander Dumas -- like that swashbuckler kind of stuff."