I’m told by a source intimate with his situation tonight that Mel Gibson “was really on the verge of suicide because he felt he was helpless to alcohol and didn’t know what to do about it.” Sure, my reaction was: sounds like spin. But the source here is someone I’ve known closely for years. Make your own judgment — here’s the rest of what he told me about Gibson (mugshot left): “No one’s really asking questions about his state of mind. That’s why he was driving around 90 miles an hour. This was a death wish. If that cop hadn’t stopped him, this guy was going to be wrapped around a pole. This is such a bigger issue than ‘Will he work again?’ This is about his not wanting to live anymore. I’ve seen what he’s gone through and what he’s going through. You have to understand the disease of alcoholism. He was back in it. There’s no doubt in my mind he was trying to kill himself that night.” As for his anti-Semitic slurs during his DUI arrest, I’m told that Gibson doesn’t remember saying them. “Why? He had alcoholic blackout syndrome. I don’t know a lot about it. I’ve not had a lot of experience with it. He has some recollection of parts of the evenings. But he’s not denying he said those things, and if anything he’s owning up to it. But nobody could verify it. Not even he or his lawyers have seen the police report yet.” The insider called Gibson’s situation “tragic. It’s not about what people are focusing on, understand that. ‘This is Mel Gibson. He can do whatever he wants. He has all the money in world. He has a wonderful family. He has a wonderful wife.’ They’re not thinking about the real issue here: alcoholism. Nobody is talking about his alcoholism.” Presently, I’m told Gibson is in a non-residential alcohol recovery program in the Malibu area.

UPDATE: *Publicist Alan Nierob informed the Los Angeles Times for its Tuesday edition that his client Mel Gibson “is fighting for his life” in his struggle with drinking.*

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