The newly minted Mel Gibson-Joe Eszterhas war of words is starting to sound familiar: The screenwriter now says there's a tape that proves his side of the story.
"He should be very careful calling me a liar," Eszterhas told TheWrap on Thursday, explaining that his 15-year-old son, Nick, had made a tape of some statements and actions by Gibson that were described in the "personal and confidential" nine-page letter written to his former collaborator earlier this week.
That letter went public Wednesday via TheWrap, shortly after Warner Bros. announced it had put a hold on "The Maccabees," a project envisioned as "a Jewish 'Braveheart'" to be produced and possibly directed by Gibson and written by Eszterhas.
(The studio said Wednesday that it was not ready to work with the current script. Eszterhas said in the letter that he found out in mid-March the studio was rejecting the script he'd submitted to Gibson in February; he said Gibson never contacted him after the rejection to discuss the project, causing him to conclude the actor "never had ... any intention" of making the film, and had merely announced it in an attempt to rehab his career and reputation. Gibson has said he's been working on the project for 10 years.)
The "Basic Instinct" writer's letter, full of profanity and vulgarity, depicts Gibson as a man out of control, cursing at houseguests, staff and even clergy in Costa Rica and in Malibu and spewing anti-Semitic slurs and concepts -- not to mention ranting about ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during their custody clash and threatening to have her killed.
Much like notorious tapes of Gibson ranting at Grigorieva, which were recorded on one day but released over several days without context, the letter gives an impression of nonstop belligerance -- something Ezsterhas addressed Thursday.