Mel Gibson’s rep claims Winona Ryder ‘lied’ about Mel calling her an ‘oven dodger’

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I enjoyed the opportunity to write about my favorite ‘90s goth-indie princess Winona Ryder this week. Winona gave an interview to the British paper the Sunday Times, where she was asked several questions about her Judaism and whether she’d experienced anti-Semitism. She told a story about Mel Gibson speaking to her and one of her friends at a party in Hollywood, sometime in the mid-’90s, where he apparently referred to her as an “over dodger” and suggested that her friend (who is gay) had AIDS. As I mentioned in my coverage, Winona has told this story before – just looking through our archives, I found a 2010 GQ interview where she basically told the same story about Gibson. And did any of us really doubt her? The story seems entirely on-brand for what we already know about Mel Gibson, given his history of anti-Semitism and being horrid to women. But Mel’s rep would have us believe that Winona is the one whose lying here.

Winona Ryder said she remembered being at “at a crowded party with one of [her] good friends” when Gibson made his alleged comments.

“Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking and he said to my friend, who’s gay ‘Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?’” Ryder, 48, told the outlet. “And then something came up about Jews, and he said ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’” she said. Ryder added that Gibson “tried” to apologize at a later date.

A representative for Gibson said in response to her allegations, “This is 100% untrue. She lied about it over a decade ago, when she talked to the press, and she’s lying about it now. Also, she lied about him trying to apologize to her back then. He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.”

[From People]

“He did reach out to her, many years ago, to confront her about her lies and she refused to address it with him.” Again, given Mel Gibson’s history, I would decline that call and that invitation as well. No one wants to be screamed at by an enraged misogynist yelling about jacuzzi blow jays and Jewish people creating wars. I just don’t get who that denial is for – Mel Gibson has been trash for a long time. He was allowed to “come back” from his many transgressions by some Hollywood dudes, but there’s a large swath of people who will never buy it. So, again, who is this denial for? Does Mel actually think that he would never have said that? Does he have no sense of self-awareness?

Hours after Mel Gibson’s rep issued that statement – and after Gibson was fired from at least one project – Winona issued a new statement:

“I believe in redemption and forgiveness and hope that Mr. Gibson has found a healthy way to deal with his demons, but I am not one of them. Around 1996, my friend Kevyn Aucoin and I were on the receiving end of his hateful words. It is a painful and vivid memory for me. Only be accepting responsibility for our behavior in this life, can we make amends and truly respect each other, and I wish him well on this lifelong journey.”

[From People]

What a classy response from Winona, and I love that she doesn’t back down or anything. Kevyn Aucoin was an utterly beloved makeup artist in the 1980s and 1990s, a favorite of all the big-name models and actresses during that time. He passed away in 2002. Winona invoking Aucoin’s name is important, in case she needs backup for any reason, I’m sure Aucoin would have told people about this incident with Mel as well. And Mel likely knew Aucoin too – Aucoin was that famous, Mel would have known who he was speaking to and mocking.

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94 Responses to “Mel Gibson’s rep claims Winona Ryder ‘lied’ about Mel calling her an ‘oven dodger’”

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  1. Sara says:

    How is he still even relevant? Scary.

    • Tanguerita says:

      Because he’s always had powerful backers among his peers – Jodie Foster and Downey Jr come to mind. That’s why I’ve never supported any projects of these two – no “Iron man” for me or whatever crap Foster has been up to.

      • Ames says:

        This. I mentioned Foster in a post below, but I forgot Robert Downey Jr also rode to Gibson’s defense. Totally forgot about all that “hugging the cactus” mess Downey barfed up.

      • Désirée says:

        Jodie Foster, seriously? But she is a lesbian, how can she support this racist, antisemitic, homophobic, misogynistic piece of sh***t?

  2. Becks1 says:

    Wow, her response is super classy.

    We all know Mel Gibson is a disgusting hateful bigot – so her story is not surprising and I think most reasonable celeb followers know that its true.

    • khaveman says:

      I recall a drunken rant of his from a few years ago that included slurs against Jews. I believe Winona.

    • Dragon Wise says:

      I believe her as well, as he has used the OD slur before, and is just as homophobic as he is misogynistic. He’s a piece of sh-t.

    • SKF says:

      His father was a full blown conspiracy nut. He moved their family to Australia because of his End of Days beliefs. He was also a Holocaust Denier and believed the planes that flew into the towers were remote-controlled. The New York Times calles him an Ultra-Orthodox, Anti-Semitic Extremist.

      From what people who know Mel well say, he is capable of being a sweet, caring person who goes out of his way to help others. That is why Jodie and RDJ are so loyal to him. However, he has substance abuse issues and mental health issues and when he is drinking or triggers his mental health issues, all the nasty parts of his character and belief systems come roaring out. The things his father instilled in him. The anti-semitism, the misogyny and homophobia.

      Is that an excuse? F—k no! Mental illness doesn’t make him a bad person, it just stops him hiding the bad sides of himself. Likewise with his drinking and substance abuse.

      I think his friends who’ve seen the good in him want to believe that it is the drink and mental illness talking when is is an awful person; but it’s not. It’s him, unleashed.

      People are not purely good or bad, hero or villain. They are many shades. People who seem wonderful can also be awful and vice versa. We are complex and multifaceted. I can totally see how this man can create beautiful art about respecting each other and have friends who think the world of him; and also be an abusive prick to his ex, get drunk and say hideous things to people he seems insignificant, and more.

      • KG says:

        I respect your nuanced take on this. I think about how to reconcile such things often and you express it very well.

  3. Darla says:

    I’m sickened that he was ever allowed a “comeback”. He’s a monster.

    • Geeena says:

      rich white men keep protecting each other. i get surprised each second, third, and fourth chance mediocre men get and than mad at myself for being surprised.

  4. STRIPE says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he were black out drunk when it happened so maybe he truly doesn’t remember but Winona remembers very clearly so good for her for doubling down

    • Ainsley7 says:

      Yeah, there’s nothing more annoying than a person who thinks not remembering is the same thing as it not happening.

      • Dahlia6 says:

        Have you met my dad? This is his favorite response to anything when you call him on his b.s.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I figured too. I believe Winona 100%.

      Also, WTH Netflix? They hired him for something, and then fired him when this came out? WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF HE’S SAID BEFORE?

      Stop hiring him. For the love of God, stop hiring this monster.

      • Kate says:

        Thank you! Was thinking the same thing – who is only just firing him now? Everyone knows he’s anti-semitic trash

    • Jenn says:

      My thoughts exactly. He didn’t say those things? How would he even know? (Sure sounds like him!)

  5. Biff says:

    I still flip through my Kevyn Aucoin books. He was soo good at his job!

  6. KinChicago says:

    People magazine will put him on the cover as a part of an “apology”. Then he’ll do this again… and hopefully, someone will have published video of it to expose him for the hateful racist bigot he is.

    This is not appropriate, professional forgivable. And behavior like this is too often brushed over- it should be exposed and he should be fired.

    • plot says:

      His Russian girlfriend from a while ago shared a recording of his screaming tirades full of horrible racist, misogynistic garbage and violence. But she’s a paid escortish type, so Mel got a pass, AGAIN!

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Yup. Kevyn Aucoin was an IS an icon within the beauty world. And he was a much beloved man as well. Who Im sure told that story to other people just like she did. Her response was classy AF: people can change – but only when they stop being liars and have accountability for their actions.

  8. Nicole r says:

    Of course I believe her – I’ve noticed that people sometimes think it’s cool or funny to say these types of crude and nasty things. Or if they hear a Jewish or gay person (or any other minority) say something about themselves with black humor that means it’s ok or funny for them to say as well. (“Why is it only funny when they say it?”).

  9. Jenni says:

    He looks like Saddam Hussein.

  10. nic says:

    On Rogan, it was very hard to parse what he was trying to say. He did not strike me as someone who would remember anything with any coherence. Given his track record bigotry and antisemitism, Ryder’s claim is VERY believable.

  11. Jerusha says:

    Hard to remember that back in the days of Mad Max and The Year of Living Dangerously that he was considered one of the most beautiful men in the world. Dorian Gray, anyone?

    • Chanteloup says:

      So, so apt.
      You are born with one face, but you live with the face you earn from the inside.
      His are hideous.

  12. Poisonella says:

    What’s the old phrase- you get the face you deserve? He was so beautiful when he was young. I guess if you make enough money for the powers that be, you’re forgiven anything. I believed her when she first spoke of it, and I believe her now. These remarks are bridge- burners as far as I’m concerned- forgiveness is not owed to him.

  13. MellyMel says:

    He was probably drunk when he said and doesn’t remember it, but I doubt he would admit to it even if he did remember. He’s an ass & a bigot. And Winona is a classy queen….love her!

    • Giddy says:

      He says he didn’t say it. Maybe he doesn’t remember the exact exchange because of drinking etc. However, he would know if the horrible term “oven dodger” is part of his vocabulary. I have never heard it before and hope to never hear it again. He is trash.

      • Nina says:

        I had to look this one up, too. I’m deeply deeply horrified. This is absolutely disgusting and should warrant a mandatory history lesson for him. How vile.
        At first I thought it was something misogynistic which would’ve been totally up his alley. But, wow.

      • Bavarian says:

        I was shocked reading that term….horrorfied

  14. Chelly says:

    I love Hacksaw Ridge. It’s such a good movie with such a good message about humanity, acceptance, & love. I hate that Mel’s name is attached to it though as he clearly does not value those qualities nor has he learned ANYTHING in his life about accountability & just how to be a decent human being

  15. Eleonor says:

    I believe her.

  16. Abby says:

    Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase “oven dodger” before and it’s just….I’m in shock. Appalling.

    He’s revealed so many times that he is such a piece of trash. And I say that having loved some of his movies. Cannot with him. Just gross.

    • Aang says:

      Yah that’s a knew one for me too. But holocaust jokes are not something I’ve heard since they were in vogue with the boys in my 6th grade class.

    • FHMom says:

      I’ve never heard it, either, and it so very, very offensive, shocking and appalling

    • Chaine says:

      Someone told me about hearing it within the past year or two. Brainless teen delinquent trying to shock an elder.

    • Linda says:

      I totally believe Winona. Mel would be well advised to lay low right now. His dad is a well known outspoken holocaust denier and Mel himself was caught telling his baby momma he hoped she got raped by a pack of n-words and had the infamous drunken meltdown in the back of that police cruiser. Dude better just shut up and not draw attention to his hideous past. Now ain’t the time.

      • AppleTartin says:

        His Dad just died this past May at 102 he was so mean God and the Devil himself didn’t want him.

  17. Slowdown says:

    I don’t understand how Jodie Foster stands by him.

    • Darla says:

      She’ll do well to keep her big mouth shut this time around. Things have changed.

      • lucy2 says:

        Agreed, and I think she’ll be advised to do that this time.
        It was disgusting she publicly supported him before, and hired him for her film, and made me think less of her.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      she’s defended him and her friendship with him as recently as 2018. so I’ll be interested if she has anything to say about this.

    • AppleTartin says:

      Whoopi Goldberg defended him too on The View. Since “she” didn’t see him be anti-semitic or racist around her. She didn’t think he was. Or something like that.

  18. Marty says:

    He does knows there’s audio of him saying the n-word out there, right??

  19. Mads says:

    I believe her.

    I used to live in West Hollywood and once went to a movie at The Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Sometime in the 1990’s, I don’t remember which movie. We were in the main theater and it was near capacity. The theater was full of industry people, like crew and working actors. When a preview of one of his movies came on everyone hissed. I have lived most of my life in Southern California and had never heard anything like that before. I discretely asked my friend what that was about. Someone behind me loudly said he was a massive homophobe, Anti-Semite, and treats women like sh*t. Then everyone started hissing again in agreement. So many people in that theater participated. I will never forget it. At another theater, not as famous, but popular with industry types, the same thing happened again. It was a thing for a while in the city and later in the gay community to hiss whenever he was on screen. This was all before his melt downs and we found out he was this raging bigot. It was an open secret for years.

    • Darla says:

      Wow.

      • smcollins says:

        Indeed, WOW. I used to be the biggest MG fan, saw every one of his movies (and I mean *every* one). In his interviews he seemed so funny & charming, and of course he was extremely easy on the eyes. When his true self was revealed for the world to see back when he was arrested for DUI (and everything that happened after) I, like a lot of people, was so incredibly disgusted, disturbed and disappointed. How could I have been so blind? Just goes to show how carefully crafted his family man, good guy public image really was.

      • Darla says:

        You’re not blind. A lot of PR hours go into creating and maintaining these images. Also, a lot of stuff is covered up, and swept underneath the rug. You know, we just saw a story recently where Ezra Miller hit a female fan, called her out in some crazy fistfight. Obviously out of his mind, maybe high, I don’t know. Swept under the rug. And he’s still Flash, and that film is absolutely going forward with him in the lead role. So what happens is the studios and the pr people, they sweep this stuff up, so the red flags don’t get too much attention. Then all of a sudden their monster explodes and everyone is shocked. It’s a real racket. And don’t forget all of these people are actors, they get paid to convincingly pretend they’re someone else.

  20. Sean says:

    “He was allowed to “come back” from his many transgressions by some Hollywood dudes”

    Has he really had a comeback though? 16 years ago he was one of the most in-demand, “sexy” A-list stars. Now? Aside from directing a film that won several awards and praise in 2016, any time you hear about him it’s because he said something disgusting or stories like this where industry folks recall a time when he said something disgusting.

    Every film he’s made since 2011 has either not been a huge deal or he was part of an ensemble, not the primary star. The last role he had that was notable was playing a secondary character in “Daddy Home 2″. “Dragged Across Concrete” went nowhere.
    Apparently he was in a movie with Sean Penn last year titled “The Professor and the Madman”. I only learned about it after checking his Wikipedia page. It received horrible reviews and was released on VOD only. He has three movies slated for 2020 and he’s only playing the lead in one of them, “Force of Nature” that b-movie where he’s the white savior of Puerto Rico during a hurricane. It’s being released on VOD only later this month. The other two films he’s playing second fiddle to Frank Grillo and Charlie Hunnam.

    When I think of a “comeback”, I picture a defining role that puts the artist back on the map and makes them the talk of the town again. Even if it’s short-lived. Like Mickey Rourke with “The Wrestler” or Robert Downey Jr with “Iron Man”.

    Gibson may be getting work but his star has not been resurrected. He’s no longer desirable or in-demand. Heck, Winona had a much more successful comeback with “Stranger Things” than Mel has had with well, anything lately.

    • lucy2 says:

      While I agree he never returned to his former A list status, he sure has worked more than Nicole Beharie, who was labeled “difficult” for not being able to work 16-18 hour days while very ill. He’s still getting hired, still getting paid, still getting financing, and he’s a violent bigot. Maybe this current civil rights movement will be the end of it, but I doubt it.

      • Sean says:

        You’re right. There are a lot of PoC/women who get blacklisted and have difficulty finding work because they weren’t perfect or spoke out. While Gibson isn’t the star he once was, he’s still getting paid gigs despite there being actual recordings of his belligerent tirades. Even if he weren’t still getting hired, he should have enough stored away that he never has to worry about money again. The same can’t be said for most of the PoC/women who are labelled “difficulty” because they called out racism/sexism.

        I’ll close with this – even though he has millions in the bank and is still finding work, I hope he’s miserable because despite those envious qualities he’s no longer considered to be the cream of the crop.

    • Ames says:

      He may no longer be desirable or in-demand but barely three years ago, Gibson quietly signed with CAA. Having one of the “big boys” in the Hollywood talent game in his professional corner is a huge boost to his marketability, credibility as an actor, and – probably most important – his insurability. They wouldn’t rep him if they didn’t think they could sell him. It might not be any big “comeback” per se, but it’s not nothing – and it’s vastly more than he deserves.

  21. Veronica S. says:

    Kevyn Aucoin’s “Making Faces” is an incredible book, by the way. You can tell from the way it’s written that he was an artist very passionate about his work.

    I think this is an important time to be hearing from people like Winona because anti-Semitism in the United States often gets characterized as a European or Middle Eastern issue because we focus more on the racial aspect of prejudice, but it is most definitely here. With the rise of white supremacy, we shouldn’t think American Jews will be excluded.

  22. Feedmechips says:

    Good Lord. Mel’s face has transformed into a tattooless Charles Manson.

  23. AmyB says:

    Mel does realize that there are audio tapes of his misogynist, racist, anti-Semite rants correct? LMAO! We have all HEARD his disgusting language and bullshit! So yeah, no problem believing Winona Ryder here AT ALL! And her statement shows pure class.

  24. Mina_Esq says:

    He is trash. Why does he even have projects from which he can be fired at this point?

  25. reef says:

    I mean…he should’ve ignored this. It would’ve been forgotten in a couple of days and added to the pile of Mel Gibson is trash. People would’ve moved on. Everything about her story is credible.

  26. Deanne says:

    Gee, who to believe.? The racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic ,woman beater whose been recorded being all o f those things, or Winona? Being as he’s spent a good deal of his adult life drunk, he’s not exactly in the position to be calling anyone a liar.

  27. Mar says:

    It’s a known fact that Mel Gibson’ and his father claim the that the Holocaust was not real. He’s an anti Semite who just happens to be a very talented producer of some really great films that made tons of money. Back in the 80s and 90s there was no social media which was on his side.

    • Godwina says:

      The cog-diss it takes to be both a Holocaust denier *and* consider Jewish people to be “ODs.”

  28. Lady D says:

    I’m with Winona.

  29. anon says:

    Well for starters, she didn’t lie, because I’ve heard this story before from insiders.

    Secondly, please let’s turn back the clock to his 2006 DUI arrest in which he went ALL IN on Jews and again in 2010 in which he left one of his former baby mamas a really racist voicemail.

    Sit down, Mel. You’re a stone cold racist and anti-Semite and not all the baby Jesuses in the world can rescue you from your documented racism and anti-Semitism.

  30. alexc says:

    You think he’s bad you should check out his father who just died a few weeks ago. An ultra rightwing, hateful holocaust denier. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    • MissMarierose says:

      In his case, the better phrase would be “the piece of shit doesn’t fall far from the assh*le.”

  31. Summer says:

    I sat for a second wondering what oven dodger meant, then it hit me and I got chills. What an awful term. Of course we all believe Winona. We have heard, literally heard Mel Gibson say terrible, disgusting things. Him denying it is a joke.

  32. J ferber says:

    He looks like the devil himself and acts accordingly. The only liar is Mel Gibson. Terrible man.

    • MsGnomer says:

      He really does! I was thinking maybe an evil dwarf or something, but I think you nailed it.

      “Sugar tits” & “oven dodger”

      What a piece of work he is.

  33. Valerie says:

    Sure, Klan. My instincts about him have proved to be correct. He’s an asshole.

  34. Bella says:

    Not all that, didn’t one of his girlfriends say that he punched her in the stomach when she was pregnant. He is truly awful and should never be able to work again.

  35. Curious says:

    I believe Winona. Mel is problematic. Sharon stone in an interview early this year said that Hollywood was misogynistic in the 90’s and singled out Mel Gibson for refusing to act with her because she was too “old” for him even though he is only 3 years older than her!

  36. Intheknow says:

    As I kid I used to be SOOOO inlove with this man. When I became an adult he was still like a life long crush….UNTIL his ‘rape by a bunch of N**gers’ comment to his ex and now this. How can people have this much hate inside them?

    All that money, power and ‘success’ and they are still so hateful. Why??? Don’t they have everything (almost) most people would die for? hope for?

    • Ames says:

      Gibson’s parents – especially his dad – were absolutely terrible human beings all the way around. Not to say it excuses his behavior or that he doesn’t know any better, but when he really gets going with the racist, misogynist, weird religious crap, he sounds exactly like his dad. And his dad was a certifiable wingnut.

      What has always struck me about Gibson is that for the entirety of his career, it was 100% open, common knowledge that he is and always has been a giant douche-canoe. In, like, every way.

      Like all wealthy, powerful men, he had a stable of apologists constantly spinning and redirecting his PR, excusing his creepy, letchy behavior, sidestepping his CONSTANT infidelities, downplaying his on-set reputation for being a bigoted tyrant . . . Nobody dared cross him. He would straight up burn you down.

      I’ve never understood why Jodie Foster went to such lengths to defend him.

  37. Sansevieria says:

    Kevyn Aucoin was brilliant beyond brilliant. Mel didn’t even belong in the same room as Winona and Kevyn. What a POS.

  38. Ames says:

    How did I **EVER** think that man was hot?

    UGH

  39. AppleTartin says:

    years ago when Rent on Broadway was at it’s peak. My friend was obsessed with it and would wait all day in the hot sun for no shows to get tickets. It was random whatever you ticket you got for a cheap price. She lucked out and got front row seats, but she was hot, dirty and smelly. The guy that was sitting next to her was furious since she smelled so bad. She looked over and it was Mel Gibson sitting next to her. She refused to move her seat and he had to smell her stink the whole show. Fuck that guy.

  40. Marianne says:

    I’m really saddened (though not surprised) at the amount of comments I’ve seen on FB pages dismissing her because “she’s a shoplifter”. Like, you realize that he too has been arrested, has a history of saying anti Semitic things, using the n word, domestic abuse etc. Like, why is he more believable? It’s so frustrating.

    • AppleTartin says:

      Why? Because Hollywood opened the gates up for him again and he got back in with roles and another Oscar nomination for Best Director. So he thinks he is A list again and shit on whoever he wants. The power players reward his bad behavior.

  41. Appalachian says:

    I believe this. He is an unhinged alcoholic and could have been drunk when he said it. Either way, sober or drunk…he’s garbage.

  42. Temperance says:

    No, she didn’t lie. Gibson was raised ultra-fundy. Deep, totally insane, pushing the limits ultra-fundy. Women should be silent, barefoot and pregnant, gays should be killed, any non0christians are going to hell and should be avoided, batsht nuttery.

    • MsGnomer says:

      I have always wondered about his bizarre take on the life of Jesus. I did not know until now that he was raised a fundamentalist. No wonder. Shudder.

      • westerner says:

        Back when he was still married to the mother of seven of his children, he gave an interview that I still remember about what a shame it was that even though she was a sincere Christian and a much better person than he, she wouldn’t go to heaven because she wasn’t the “right” kind of Catholic. Turns out it’s quoted on his Wikipedia, so I didn’t just dream it.

      • Summer says:

        @ westerner: I’m pretty sure there is Mel Gibson wing in hell just a waiting for him.

        I haven’t liked him at all since I heard those recordings in the early 2000′s. You could here the rage, hate, ego and straight up evilness in his voice. His first wife is probably thanking her lucky stars to be rid of him.

  43. Pocket Litter says:

    Right. If Winona is lying, then why doesn’t Gibson sue her for defamation and slander? People who are supporting this monster are complicit. Shameful.

  44. Poisonella says:

    If Winona ever writes a book about her life-a real book; it would be a very interesting read.

  45. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    He’s such a fkn ghoul.