Two-time Oscar winner Mel Gibson is denying claims by actress Winona Ryder that he made an anti-Semitic and a homophobic remark at a long-ago party both had attended.
"This is 100% untrue," a representative for Gibson told Newsday in a statement. "She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she's lying about it now. Also, she lied about him trying to apologize to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him."
Ryder, 48, born Winona Laura Horowitz, told the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times over the weekend that years ago, "We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends. And Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we're all talking and he said to my friend, who's gay, 'Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?' And then something came up about Jews, and he said, 'You're not an oven dodger, are you?' "
"Stranger Things" and "The Plot Against America" star Ryder, who told the paper that she is "not religious, but I do identify" with being Jewish, said Gibson at some unspecified later date attempted to apologize to her for his remarks.
Ryder, an Oscar nominee for "The Age of Innocence" (1993) and "Little Women" (1994), also recalled, "There are times when people have said, 'Wait, you're Jewish? But you're so pretty!' There was a movie that I was up for a long time ago, it was a period piece, and the studio head, who was Jewish, said I looked 'too Jewish' to be in a blue-blooded family."
"Braveheart" producer-director-star Gibson, 64, whose films include the "Lethal Weapon" and "Mad Max" / "Road Warrior" franchises, apologized in 2006 for a widely publicized, alcoholic outburst in which he yelled at a police officer, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!"
"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable," Gibson said in his statement at the time. "I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone I may have offended."