Mel Details "Insane" Night To Sawyer

10/12/2006 9:25 AM PDT

Mel Details "Insane" Night To Sawyer

Mel Gibson today gave his first public accounting of the night of his DUI arrest and admitted that, even after his "insane" tequila-fueled ordeal that evening, he had to have several beers the next morning to tell his children what had happened. What's more, Gibson insisted that his anti-Semitic tirade was purely a product of his drinking and not of any ingrained racial prejudice.

The actor began his tour of public contrition this morning with an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," and he told Diane Sawyer how the evening of July 28 went down, saying he was "wrought" after a day of work, and that he had started drinking again two months prior to that night. After leaving the restaurant Moonshadows, Gibson says he took a few slugs from the tequila bottle as he careened down the Pacific Coast Highway, before being stopped by Sheriff's Deputy James Mee, whom he says he did not know was Jewish.

His upper lip beaded with perspiration, Gibson, seated in his office in Santa Barbara, also told Sawyer that in the police station after his arrest, his first thought before being photographed for the mug shot was of Nick Nolte's infamous photo, and so he slicked back his hair and splashed water on his face just before taking it. Then, after returning home to tell his family about the evening, Gibson said that he had to knock back "a few cold ones" just to face his children to admit what had happened. And he said that when drunk, he has the capacity to "murder inanimate objects," including toasters.

As for his anti-Semitic tirade, Gibson said, "That's not who I am," and compared his drunken screed to children fighting with their parents, insisting that "people say all sorts of horrible things about anything" when drunk.

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.The second part of Sawyer's interview with Gibson will air tomorrow on "Good Morning America."