British actor Ray Winstone has defended Mel Gibson over his drink driving arrest in 2006, insisting it could have happened to anyone.
The Braveheart star was arrested after he was spotted leaving a Malibu, California bar and subsequently sentenced to three years probation on a misdemeanour driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
He also prompted outrage after it was revealed he made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting officer.
Gibson subsequently issued two public apologies about his comments, but he's still the brunt of Hollywood jokes - as Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais made clear during Sunday night's (17Jan10) ceremony.
The funnyman poked fun at the movie star's past drinking problems, joking, "'I like a drink as much as the next man... unless the next man is Mel Gibson."
But now, Winstone, who stars alongside Gibson in new movie Edge Of Darkness, has spoken out in favour of the Lethal Weapon actor, calling for people to stop giving him "a hard time".
He says, "Mel gets a hard time but you know what, it's all complete bollo**s. He's a proper geezer (great guy). Anyone can be drunk and get into a bit of bother with a copper who's got the hump (upset), you know?"