The ongoing feud between screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and actor Mel Gibson has gained fuel, as Eszterhas claims that he has received death threats and hate mail from Gibson supporters, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Eszterhas has called upon Gibson to distance himself from supporters who have expressed anti-Semitic sentiments, saying "Many of Mel Gibson's supporters in chat rooms and on websites have posted anti-Semitic comments. I've received hate mail and death threats. I've had to ask our local police department to pay special attention to my family's safety."
"I call upon my fellow Catholic, Mel Gibson, to disavow himself from supporters who are anti-Semites," he said.
The screenwriter’s spokesman, Stephen Jaffe, told TheWrap that law enforcement is investigating the threats against Eszterhas.
"I can't comment because there's an ongoing investigation," Jaffe said. "You're asking me were they direct or indirect? Both."
Eszterhas, who is not Jewish, called on Gibson to personally condemn anti-Semitism and make amends for his own derogatory statements about Jews.
"I call upon him to apologize for his own anti-Semitic remarks," he said. "I call upon him as a world-wide public figure to condemn anti-Semitism and the hatred and historical persecution of Jews."
In April, Eszterhas accused Mel Gibson of sabotaging the production of “The Maccabees,” after Warner Bros. decided to cancel the film’s project.
"I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews," Eszterhas asserted in his letter to Gibson.
The letter goes on to claim that Gibson called Jews “Hebes,” “oven-dodgers” and “Jewboys.”
Eszterhas also accused Gibson of only announcing the production of the film in order to "deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career."
During an appearance on "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" following the incident, Gibson attempted to shrug off the accusations saying, "Maybe you didn't know this about me, I've got a little bit of a temper."
Eszterhas isn’t the first person to accuse Gibson of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments.
According to an arrest report filed following a 2006 DUI arrest, Gibson went on an anti-Semitic rant saying, "F*** Jews... the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."