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Joe Eszterhas

Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty; LA Times/Retna
Screenwriter Charges Mel Gibson with Anti-Semitism over Failed Maccabee Movie

Mel Gibson, Screenwriter Feud over Jewish Hero Movie

Originally posted 04/12/2012 11:30AM

Proving once again that the pen is mightier than the sword, a Hollywood feud of nearly Biblical proportions seems to be developing between Mel Gibson and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas over what was to have been Gibson's movie about Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee.

In a scathing, single-spaced, nine-page letter from Eszterhas to Gibson, dated April 9 and obtained by TheWrap.com, the writer alleges that Gibson never intended to make the movie and, furthermore, "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews," Eszterhas writes.

The letter also states that Eszterhas (whose screenwriting credits include Basic Instinct and Showgirls) was prepared to write "the Jewish 'Braveheart,' " and he ticks off various ugly epithets that he claims Gibson used to describe Jews. His message also alleges Gibson threatened the life of his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Gregorieva.

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