Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mel Gibson wife filed for divorce

Mel Gibson’s wife of nearly 30 years filed for divorce from the Oscar-winning actor and director Monday, according to court records.

Robyn Gibson cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split from her 53-year-old husband, the Academy Award-winning maker of “Braveheart” and star of the “Lethal Weapon” films.

“Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so,” People magazine quoted the couple as saying in a statement on Monday.

The couple have had seven children together since their marriage in 1980. The two met in Australia when Gibson was an unknown actor and his future wife was working as a dental assistant.

Any divorce settlement could be one of the most expensive in Hollywood history, with Gibson’s fortune estimated at around 900 million dollars, according to celebrity website TMZ.com.

Under California law, community property and earnings are divided 50/50 in divorce cases where there is no pre-nuptial agreement.

Gibson’s marriage has been under strain ever since the actor was arrested for driving under the influence in 2006 and his anti-semitic remarks made to police officers during his arrest.

In a formal response to his wife’s divorce petition filed on Monday, Gibson said the couple had been separated since August 26, 2006 — less than a month after his infamous drink-driving arrest in Malibu.

Since 2006 Gibson has kept a low profile, appearing in a handful of cameo roles in television and films. His last film as a director was the 2006 Mayan period epic “Apocalypto.”

His last major role as an actor was in 2002 film “Signs” but he is due to return later this year in “Edge of Darkness,” a political thriller based on the British 1980s television series of the same name.

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