Date: 4th February 2004
Mel Gibson has defended his father over claims he is a Holocaust denier.
Hutton Gibson has publicly doubted that six million Jews died during the Second World War.
In an interview with Reader's Digest, Braveheart star Mel said he would not hear any criticism of his father.
"My dad taught me my faith and I believe what he taught me. The man never lied to me in his life," he said, when asked about Hutton's controversial comments.
"He lost his mother at two years of age. He lost his father at 15. He went through the Depression. He signed up for World War Two, served his country fighting the forces of fascism. Came back, worked very hard physically, raised a family, put a roof over my head, clothed me, fed me, taught me my faith, loved me.
"I love him back. So I'll slug it out, until my heart is black and blue, if anyone ever tries to hurt him."
Asked directly if he believed the Holocaust happened, Gibson replied: "I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor.
"Yes, of course. Atrocities happen. War is horrible. World War Two killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933."
In an interview with The New York Times, Hutton Gibson told a reporter he doubted the scale of the Holocaust.
"Go and ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body," he said. "It takes one litre of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million?"
Both father and son are devout followers of the "traditionalist Catholic" faith.
Source: Press Release