A representative for Mel Gibson has denied claims that the actor/director shoved and spit on a female newspaper photographer outside a movie theater in Sydney, Australia Sunday night.
Kristi Miller, a photographer for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, told that paper that she was snapping photos of Gibson, 59, and girlfriend Rosalind Ross, 24, when the Oscar-winner allegedly snapped and physically and verbally assaulted her.
“I thought he was going to punch me in the face,” Miller, a 39-year-old mother of three, told the paper. “He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c***. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”
“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around he shoved me back really hard,” Miller added. “It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow.”
Police are reportedly investigating the incident, which happened outside the Palace Verona movie theater in the Sydney suburb of Paddington Sunday night. Gibson and Ross had attended a screening of the film Far From Men as part of the AICE Israeli Film Festival.
“We will be looking for CCTV footage,” New South Wales police Superintendent Tony Crandell told the Telegraph. “At some stage we would request to interview Mr. Gibson’s partner who appears to be a witness.”
Gibson rep Alan Nierob has vehemently denied any physical attack took place.
“There was no physical contact whatsoever with this photographer, who was harassing my client and his friend,” Nierob told the Telegraph in an email.
Gibson, who took home Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Braveheart in 1996, is reportedly in Australia to direct his new World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge.
Gibson has had several famous altercations with paparazzi, but perhaps his most memorable showdown came with a Santa Monica police officer during a DUI stop in 2006. Gibson was accused of using anti-Semitic language when he asked whether the police officer was Jewish before remarking that Jews are “responsible for all the wars in the world.”