Mel Gibson, who's been essentially mum since tapes of him ranting at Oksana Grigorieva were leaked last summer, has finally broken his silence, referring to the recordings as "one terribly awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day," and something that "doesn't represent what I truly believe or how I've treated people my entire life."
He also said he didn't care if he ever acted again.
In the Deadline Hollywood interview, coming as the May release of "The Beaver" looms, Gibson expressed regret and anger at himself but also held his ground about what people heard.
"You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship," he said.
The tapes, dramatically released one by one over the span of more than a week last July, eventually were revealed as having come from one day's continuing argument. He told Deadline that the tapes had been edited.
"You find out who your friends are," Gibson said, including Whoopi Goldberg ("I knew Whoopi before she was Whoopi. ... I like her even more now, because she got it.") and "The Beaver" director Jodie Foster ("I'd give her a pedicure every day of the week if I could."), both of whom spoke out on his behalf.
But he said he's not bothered by the short list of public defenders. "Why would anyone want to speak publicly and drag themselves through this crap?" he noted. "It seems to add fuel to the fire."
Fans who hope to see Gibson on screen down the line can breathe easier -- while the phrases "move on" and "let it go" peppered his reaction to being awkwardly let go from "The Hangover II," he was enthusiastic about his upcoming project with "Braveheart" screenwriter Randy Wallace, in which he's "not the main guy."