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Gibson Not to Apologize to Temple In Person Yet

8/18/2006 9:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The rabbi who invited Mel Gibson to speak at his temple tells TMZ that Gibson has officially declined the invitation to appear before the Jewish congregation ... for now.

Rabbi David Baron says he was recently contacted by Gibson's publicist, who claimed the actor remains "deeply involved in personal work which includes rehab, therapy and counseling for alcoholism."

You may recall Baron, the Rabbi for the Temple of the Arts, asked Mel Gibson to his temple on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. In the letter, Baron made it clear that he "did not invite Mel Gibson to speak; I invited him to deliver a public apology."

In accordance with Gibson's situation, Baron says he has extended the offer to a later date. In addition to the invitations, the rabbi says he has also volunteered to join with a group of Jewish leaders dedicated to educate Gibson about the dangers of anti-Semitism.

UPDATE: Late Friday afternoon, Mel Gibson's publicist, Alan Nierob, told TMZ "Mr. Gibson hasn't declined any offers, as I haven't even discussed any offers with him. It's way too soon in his recovery , and frankly he is not interested in anything public or a photo opp."

As for Rabbi Baron's statement that Gibson rejected his request to appear at Yom Kippur services, Nierob said; "I was very clear when I spoke to the kind Rabbi yesterday that I cannot even bring any requests to my client at this time, as it is inappropriate and too early in his recovery process. He completely understood my position on this and even offered to meet with my client at a later time if and when appropriate. Also, I told him that the public nature of the request was also inappropriate."

264 COMMENTS

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31.

Melissa    

To Kathryn:

I would also be upset if someone said something like that about my race, but only if they were standing up on a national pulpit and completely sober. The guy was in a drunken stupor. I can't believe people are upset over something he said while he was drunk. Give me a break, people are overreacting and being way too sensitive about this.

2957 days ago
32.

mandy madeline    

I think Tom Cruise is the reason for the fake UFO sitings and possibly the Big Foot sitings too.

Freedom of speech and opinion. I believe that is in our constitution. The constitution that should be rewritten again to exclude our courts and attorneys from running our country instead of us.

Go Mel..let freedom ring. No disrespect for the Rabbi but bring sensationalism to yourself in another way than on public display for your own attention.
I wonder how many sins his congregation attoned for and actually didn't go back to sinning the next day.
But then that's just me and I like to say what I feel too in this good ole USA. OPINIONS FOLKS. Get over it.

2957 days ago
33.

Ursie    

Come on people, he ALREADY apologized -- how many more times does he have to? He has had problems with drinking which obviously resurfaced after many "dry" years. Unfortunately they say things that are nasty, hurtful, or you don't want to hear. He did the right thing by 1) acknowledging he had a problem (which many do NOT), and 2) went directly to rehab (i.e., atoning) and hopefully will eradicate any "ghosts" he obviously has not resolved. For one, his father may be rigid, etc. judging from some of his comments so if that is true, that situation would NOT be easy, nor fun, to live with growing up and it leaves scars. Of course I don't know him personally but I don't think he is a mean person, he is a family man and appears to be a decent person, but he went off track big time. He messed up, admitted it, and is getting help. He was "recovered" for a long time and fell off the beaten path. Let him recover and make amends, I am certain he is very sorry and won't be forgetting this anytime soon. I wish my mom was that apologetic...

2957 days ago
34.

Sally Wieck    

For Christ's sake give up, you guys. So the guy got drunk - so what. We have all made a mistake or two. He has a problem, his wife is pissed, so let them work it out. Booze brings out a lot of bad language - bad thoughts - so what. I cannot believe the focus on Mel Gibson when Paris Hilton had a little "run in" with the law - a little fender bender - and no one organized a riot over that. What kind of preferential treatment was she given? Believe me - a lot. We never heard anymore about it, did we? And we won't, because the masses didn't rise up like they are with Mel. I wish all of you "do gooders" would give it a rest.

2957 days ago
35.

Myron    

This Rabbi sounds like a major publicity hound. So, so, so TACKY~~! Did he call you up himself to get this item? PATHETIC!

2957 days ago
36.

kewlju    

JM,

Can you please be more specific about whichs Jewish people go arond ranting and raving about other races? I have never heard them.
His comments were very painful for many reasons and it is hard to just move on. Jewish people have been MURDERED simply because the are Jews for centuries. Members of my family were MURDERED in the Holocust that Mel's dad dosen't believe happened.
Had anyone else said those comments, I personally wouldn't have been so offended.
SOme of you need an education in Religion and not continue to repeat your anti semitic remarks. They are wrong!!

2957 days ago
37.

h8er#1    

Right on #13! What Madoona did is way more atrocious than anything Mel said! Why isn't everyone up in arms over this? WHy is it ok to persecute Christians?

2957 days ago
38.

marti    

Come on...everybody slips and says stuff they shouldn't once and a while. Especially if your being a drunken ass at the time. But, not to defend anyone....If it wasnt Mel making the slip..would anyone really care. You hear this stuff from drunks on "cops" and out in public all the time and you dont huff and puff about it. Everyone screws up at least once...its not alright but he didnt kill anyone. Wouln't all of this anger and protest be be better served for use against real hate groups that intentionally and soberly humiliate and abuse people everyday and get by with it. Ok so be upset...but pick your battles wisely. "It is a fool who drives into someone with his eyes closed...but it is a monster who hits someone while looking at them."

2957 days ago
39.

Lyn    

Sure is funny Mel is getting all this publicity for what he said about the Jews, but Madanna blasphems the Christians w/ her "performance" w/ the cross & no one is critizing her. We all need to pray for her poor soul. She needs it more than Mel. Lyn

2957 days ago
40.

jlt2004    

I agree with Sally! Give it a rest and let it go people!

2957 days ago
41.

LG    

OK, he messed up but no matter whether you are Jewish or Christian we all believe in God and God is a forgiving God and loves us. The least we can do is love others. We are not perfect and all have our faults, does God still love us? SIn is sin in the eyes of God. I am sure we have all sinned in our lives, so what right do we have to judge others? I think God would be more pleased if we prayed for Mr Gibson rather than find fault.

2957 days ago
42.

Jamie    

Enough with the Mel Gibson stories and the Paris Hilton stories! Who cares what these idiots say or do?

2957 days ago
43.

jstmom    

The truth is the vast majority of the population could care less about this. They overwhelmingly have voted on every poll that this will not affect in any way them going to see Mel Gibson in another movie. I love how AOL tried to only give the "media spin" on this by not allowing posting boards on the Mel Gibson story. They did it because they would not allow America to speak--they only want to portray the fake story that "America is so upset with Mel Gibson" --when in reality most people could care less what Mel Gibson called anyone. Get over it people. Its words. Who cares?? No one but a few.

2957 days ago
44.

Rose Marie Ebeling    

I agree 100% with Kate Dunphy and kumontee walker. Enough, already. I am still a Mel Gibson fan and I hope that rehab works for him.

2957 days ago
45.

Ed Sullivan    

I must agree with Kate Dunphy that there is never an uproar over insults made by media stars like Madonna about the catholic church and other christian religions . Madonna's crucifixion act is blatently bigoted. Mel Gibson's remarks about jews, not a public statement, is certainly unforgiven. He should apologise to the Jewish community for any such outbursts against the jewish people. I believe that he already has done so.

2957 days ago
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