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Mel: "I Could Be the Next Goose-Stepping Maniac"

10/13/2006 9:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Mel Gibson's first public confessional to Diane Sawyer following his DUI arrest in August continued on Friday morning on "Good Morning America. Today, the actor suggested that his anti-Semitic rant may have stemmed from the withering criticism he faced when his controversial 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ" was released, but didn't flatly deny that he might indeed have anti-Semitic sentiment within him. And he acknowledged that his hate-filled tirade might cast him as a "goose-stepping maniac" in the eyes of many.

Gibson did try to set the record straight with Sawyer regarding the most infamous statement he made on the night of August 28th, after his DUI arrest. "Let me be real clear here," said Gibson, "I don't believe that Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. That's an outrageous drunken statement." Still, he maintained that the Jews were "not blameless" in the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. And he admitted that his anger towards the Jews might have been triggered by lingering resentment for charges of anti-Semitism he took in the aftermath of "Passion": "I had my rights violated...as an artist," he told Sawyer.

When asked about his father, Hutton Gibson, who has made public and vehement statements suggesting that the Holocaust was a fiction, amongst other anti-Semitic rhetoric, Gibson would not blame his father for his own actions, saying, "I'm not going to use him to put anything off on me ... It's not the explanation."

TMZ broke the story detailing Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade the night of his DUI arrest in Malibu. He has since pleaded no contest to drunk driving and was sentenced to three years' probation. The actor has also entered an Alcoholics Anonymous program.

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