The rabbi who invited crazy Mel Gibson to speak at his temple tells TMZ.com that the actor/director has officially declined the invitation to appear before the Jewish congregation. For now, anyway. You never know!
Rabbi David Baron says he was recently contacted by a representative for Gibson, who received probation as part of a plea bargain for his drunken tirade last month. His rep claimed the actor remains "deeply involved in personal work which includes rehab, therapy and counseling for alcoholism."
Baron, the Rabbi for the Temple of the Arts, asked Mel Gibson to his temple on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. In the letter, Baron made it clear that he "did not invite Mel Gibson to speak; I invited him to deliver a public apology."
In accordance with Gibson's situation, Baron says he has extended the offer to a later date. In addition to the invitations, the rabbi says he has also volunteered to join with a group of Jewish leaders dedicated to educate Gibson about the dangers of anti-Semitism. Hopefully, they remember that he's tight with cops!
Late Friday afternoon, Gibson's publicist, Nierob, told TMZ that Gibson hasn't declined any offers, and hasn't even discussed any offers with the publicist. It's way too soon in his recovery, Nierob said, and frankly he is not interested in anything public or a photo op.
As for Rabbi Baron's statement that Gibson rejected his request to appear at Yom Kippur services, Nierob said:
"I was very clear when I spoke to the kind Rabbi yesterday that I cannot even bring any requests to my client at this time, as it is inappropriate and too early in his recovery process. He completely understood my position on this and even offered to meet with my client at a later time if and when appropriate. Also, I told him that the public nature of the request was also inappropriate."