Mel Gibson was married to estranged wife Robyn for 29 years and the couple have seven children together. But will that marriage be declared null and void, now that Mel has a pregnant mistress-turned-fiancee? The “Braveheart” star reportedly wants to marry his not-so-secret girlfriend in a Christmas ceremony. Did the star pull some strings with the higher ups at his family-owned breakaway Catholic church –specifically his father–to arrange a secret annulment of that marriage? The National Enquirer is reporting that he did, in the hopes that the annulment would eventually be recognized by the Catholic church. Kind of strange, considering that this breakaway church NEVER gives annulments.
Mel Gibson’s 29-year-marriage has been secretly annulled, The Enquirer has learned exclusively.
And now he’s planning to marry his pregnant Russian girlfriend in a splashy Christmas wedding.
The annulment was approved by Gibson’s breakaway Catholic congregation, and it isn’t officially recognized by the Catholic church.
Despite that, the “Passion of the Christ” star, 53, is using it to set the stage for marrying his lover, 39-year-old Oksana Grogorieva, insiders say.
Catholic Bishops turned down Mel’s request for an annulment. So his dad Hutton, the 90-year-old patriarch of the family owned church, led a tribunal that annulled the marriage, a family insider divulged.
The tribunal was attended by loyal congregation members of Gibson’s private, independent church, the Holy Family Chapel in Malibu, about a month after Robyn filed for divorce, according to the insider.
Hutton Gibson presided over the hearing and granted his son’s annulment request after the Oscar-winning actor presented “evidence” that the union was never a true marriage, even though he married Robyn in a Catholic ceremony in Australia in 1980, said the source.
“Especially important was Mel’s description of how he felt pressured into the marriage in the first place because Robyn was pregnant,” maintained the family insider. “Those feelings indicated to Hutton that it couldn’t be a true marriage, and so he felt it must be invalid.
“After the discussion ended, Hutton pounded his fist on the table and said, ‘It is clear that this union did not have what it takes to be a true marriage!’”
“The annulment is being kept secret, but Mel hopes that some of the Bishops he has recently befriended can be persuaded to give him an official Catholic annulment.”
[From The National Enquirer print version, Aug. 10, 2009]
It must be nice to have friends in high places- specifically, your religious zealot of a daddy. I find it very hard to believe that a real Catholic Bishop would grant an annulment of a 29-year marriage, regardless of how it started. But then again, several high-profile Catholics have managed to win annulments of decades-long marriages. The Kennedy family has spawned a few, including the most famous one in which Joe Kennedy won his bid for annulment against ex-wife Sheila Raunch Kennedy, who wrote about it bitterly in “Shattered Faith.” Though it’s never been confirmed, Ted Kennedy is also believed to have been granted one in his marriage to Joan Kennedy – he’s since been seen taking communion, which is a big no-no for divorced Catholics unless they’ve had an annulment. Mel does seem to have a way of getting what he wants – if he does end up marrying his mistress in a Catholic church, we will have our answer.