In 2012 a letter written by noted Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas was obtained by The Wrap which reportedly revealed Gibson held a lot of disdain for The Beatles star John Lennon. In this letter, Eszterhas claimed Gibson went on a rant about Lennon, and the comment he made about being “more popular than Jesus” in 1966.
Eszterhas is best known for producing the script behind the legendary movie Basic Instinct. At the time he was working with Gibson on a film titled The Maccabees, a biopic of the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee.
Gibson was apparently not very happy with the script Eszterhas’ turned in. The screenwriter then reportedly wrote a nine-page letter to Gibson, which was later acquired.
Eszterhas wrote that Gibson raged that he was “glad” Lennon had died.
Gibson reportedly said: “I’m glad he’s dead. He deserved to be shot. He was f*****g messianic!”
He then launched into a tirade about the star’s music. “Listen to his songs [like] Imagine,” Gibson reportedly continued. “I hate that f*****g song. I’m glad he’s dead.”
However, shortly thereafter, Gibson denied having ever said these comments.
Gibson added: “I will acknowledge like most creative people I am passionate and intense.”
Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980, outside his home, The Dakota, in New York City. He was shot in the back by a crazed fan.
This was not the first time Gibson had a less-than-savoury run-in with a member of The Beatles.
In 1999 Gibson was working on the soundtrack to Braveheart at Abbey Road Studios. He was excited to learn that George Harrison was right upstairs. Before long, he had arranged a meeting with the iconic My Sweet Lord singer.
When Gibson entered the room he excitedly went up to Harrison and held out his hand to shake it. As soon as they locked eyes Harrison realised he had arranged to meet the wrong person. He thought he was meeting up with a different Hollywood actor.
With that, he announced: “Oh, I thought they said Mel Brooks.”