Inside the tortured life of Mel Gibson’s brother
In his squalid flat in Sydney's most notorious housing commission block - light years away from the life of his Hollywood superstar brother - Andrew Gibson claims he has been rejected by some of his relatives.
As he exclusively revealed to news.com.au, the adopted brother of world famous actor and director Mel Gibson believes the rejection, ordered by their father Hutton, is partly due to homophobia.
Speaking from his home inside the infamous red brick high rises known locally as 'Suicide Towers' in Surry Hills, he said Mel had always been supportive, unlike some other relatives.
Andrew decided to speak to news.com.au about his life after recent traumatic events.
The one-time aspiring actor, who is 14 years younger than his multi-millionaire sibling, lives in Northcott Tower with his four pet chihuahuas.
Recently accosted by a neighbour armed with a homemade machete, Andrew himself is facing sentencing soon after pleading guilty to drug driving with ice and cannabis in his bloodstream.
Openly gay, and with his sexuality not approved of in the conservative Christian atmosphere of the Gibson family, Andrew has long felt like an outcast.
Although he does not direct any criticism at Mel or any other living Gibson relative, he does single out the patriarch, Hutton Gibson, who he still calls "dad".
Hutton, a far-right conspiracy theorist who claimed the Holocaust was a hoax, the pope was a heretic and that "half the people in the Vatican are queer", died last year aged 101.
"The Gibsons don't want anything to do with me because I am tragic," Andrew said.
"My sexuality is an issue. (Mel Gibson) has never been anti-Semitic or anti-gay, but the decision was made … by dad. Hutton didn't accept you for who you were.
"It was better for me to be with my genetic family because I was of the same ilk. I'll never forgive what he did to me. He barred me from the family, told me he wished he'd never adopted me, called me a son of a b****.
"He called my genetic family 'criminals'. He called me a b*****d once and I said, 'I was born one.'"
Andrew, now aged 51, has lived for five years in the same flat at the Northcott housing commission estate, once notorious for people committing suicide there.
The block of flats Andrew lives in was once also known for the dismemberment murders by "Northcott Mutilator" Damien Peters who hid body parts in the rubbish skips and a headless torso in the bath.
It was also the site of the 1990 afternoon massacre by Paul Anthony Evers who shot five dead in a rampage after a neighbour called him a "dole bludger".
Andrew said he had occasional contact with older brother Mel, adding: "Mel is supportive, but he lives his life in Los Angeles."
Andrew, who does not expect any handouts from his older brother Mel's $425 million net worth, is however living in a place which he says makes him both afraid and on edge.
The Northcott flats, set among million-dollar terrace houses, was once a "dumping ground'' for psychiatric patients, chronic alcoholics, prison parolees and cash-poor HIV sufferers.
Its notoriety as a drug den saw security improved and guards appointed at the front entrances.
But despite the three internal locks on his door and his dogs, Andrew does not feel secure.
Of the incident which resulted in the conviction last week in a Sydney court of a fellow resident, Andrew said: "I'm still fearful.
"There are factions of people in this building. It's gang related. Drug gangs, prostitution gangs. People are treating me as if it's my fault. They haven't read the facts."
NSW Police facts for the case read that Gibson's 70-year-old neighbour confronted him with a 21cm knife fastened into a 1m piece of wood in the corridor outside their flats.
Around lunchtime on April 16 last year, the man approached Gibson after the pair had a verbal argument, the police facts state.
"The accused said: 'You called me a Lebanese c***. I have got friends who will come and kill you, you dogs. You will not be left alone until you leave this apartment.'"
The man then went and fetched a "homemade spear … which appears to have no other use than … causing injury to a person", the police facts state.
Holding the weapon horizontally in both hands, the man moved towards Gibson yelling: "You white c***."
Afterwards the man admitted he made the weapon "for my protection because I don't like him".
The man was convicted last week of one count each of armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and attempt stalk intimidate intent fear of harm and sentenced to a community corrections order.
Andrew told news.com.au the attack was part of wider abuse against him in the flats, which has been "outrageous".
Gibson has fired off emails to people including police, St Vincent's Stimulant Treatment Program, Housing NSW and Northcott committee members, which contain bizarre claims.
One seen by news.com.au read: "I've been told if I do not move out I will be framed or basically murdered."
"I don't fit in with the culture here," he wrote in another and says he has been wrongly "accused of being a drug dealer" and holding "wild sex parties".
Andrew has also claimed he's had fish stolen from the fish tanks in his flat and "abusers injecting meth … keeping me awake all night and my pets".
"I am at my wit's end. I could just move out but I don't think I should have to leave," he wrote in another.
With the help of Housing NSW and Northcott's building management, know as The Pottery Barn, he is moving but asked the location not be disclosed.
He told news.com.au the attack on him "made me get back on drugs", but said that only included alcohol and marijuana.
Local Court documents state Andrew pleaded guilty by phone last week to drug driving in Surry Hills on October 31 last year, with methamphetamine and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his system.
Andrew, who was adopted by Hutton and Anne Gibson after their arrival from the USA to Australia in the early 1970s, told news.com.au his late adopted mother was a "lovely" person and mother.
Anne gave birth to 10 children including Mel before they moved to the birth country of Hutton's Australian Opera singer mother (Eva Mylott) where they adopted Andrew.
Hutton, a quiz show champion with a genius IQ, worked in Australia as a computer programmer and theologian.
Andrew said the family lived in Mt Kuring-gai, Sydney, then Redcliffe in Queensland, then Windsor and later Albury in NSW.
As he packed to move flats this week, he showed news.com.au crucifixes he still had "from the Gibsons".
He said that under Hutton's influence, every Sunday the family attended a Tridentine mass, which is celebrated exclusively in ecclesiastical Latin.
"It's just like cult," he said.
Hutton Gibson would go on to establish The World Faith Foundation of California, funded by Mel, to establish a Tridentine congregation called St Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Chapel.
Andrew said Hutton provided materially for his 11 children. "We never wanted for food or clothing."
But by the time he was a teenager, his much older siblings had left home, and he felt he didn't fit in.
"Mel's career was taking off when I was a kid," he said.
"I left home when I was 16 … and started having sex … with men. I like manly men, bikies; I'm not feminine. But inside I am really a woman."
By the time Andrew had left home, in 1985, Mel Gibson was already a star, having appeared in 1979's Mad Max, in Gallipoli in 1981, followed by Mad Max 2, and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Andrew would follow his brother into the dramatic arts, briefly, appearing in a low-budget Star Wars fan short film The Dark Redemption.
Working in human resources as a corporate recruiter at the time, Andrew said his one-line role as an officer on a rebel starship was "for fun, not the money".
"I'm a bit of a rebel anyway, which is why I am doing this. I'm not going to pursue this as a career. I usually leave that stuff to my family."
Andrew told news.com.au that despite having no ambitions to act professionally, his role back then "for three seconds got more credits that others, who all got the s***s.
"I was really good apparently. They hated me".
Since then, he said, "I've made some porn, but I have never acted."
More recently he has worked as a disability support carer, but said that he is currently "on stress leave".
Andrew said despite his rejection by Hutton and his recent tribulations, he was lucky to have the support of a bikie he believed is his biological father.
"We've never discussed it, but the Gibsons said he was and as far as I'm concerned he is my dad."
He said his birth father's connections in the motor cycle gang world meant that "I'm bikie royalty".
"We speak every day," he said. "He got me off ice three years ago.
"He is really tolerant and really supportive."
Andrew said he believed that the Northcott housing flats would continue to be plagued by problems unless "the government put some more money into it".
Asked about allegations that his beloved older brother was himself racist or homophobic, Andrew repeated his assertion that he was not.
In a 2006 drink driving arrest in Malibu, Mel Gibson told a police officer: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."
Tapes were leaked in 2010 in which he screamed at his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, in a rant which contained sexist and African-American slurs.
In June last year, actress Winona Ryder claimed Mel had made comments at a party years ago calling her an "oven-dodger", a reference to the Holocaust.
Ryder, who is Jewish, said he also remarked to a gay male actor, "Oh wait, am I gonna get AIDS?"
Gibson denied making either remark.
Andrew staunchly defended brother Mel, saying he had "never heard anything anti-gay come out of his mouth".
He said when he came out to the Gibsons as gay, at the age of 22, Mel told him: "It's not my choice, but I love you and you're my brother."
Originally published as Tortured life of Mel Gibson's brother