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Swayze: Gibson's a ‘wonderful’ guy

Another Hollywood defense after the star's bizarre outburst: ‘People say stupid things,’ says the ‘Dirty Dancing’ movemaster.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Patrick Swayze has joined several of Mel Gibson's celebrity friends in defending the actor, who in a drunken tirade blamed Jews for the world's wars.

Gibson is "a wonderful human being," Swayze told GMTV in an interview being aired Monday. "He is not anti-Semitic."

Gibson, 50, was arrested on drunken driving charges July 28 on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., where he unleashed an angry anti-Semitic outburst on the arresting deputy.

The "Lethal Weapon" series star and Oscar-winning director of "Braveheart" has apologized twice for his words and acknowledged his long struggle with alcoholism.

Swayze, 53, downplayed his friend's drunken outburst, telling GMTV that "people say stupid things when they happen to have a few, and especially if you don't drink any more, or have limited your drinking for a long time and all of a sudden you decide to have one too many with the boys — you are stupid."

Swayze said most people can behave foolishly without creating a public stir, but stars live under far greater scrutiny.

Swayze, who is starring in the West End production of "Guys and Dolls," said the incident certainly would not end Gibson's career.

"When you are a pit bull, and you love what you do and you are going to continue to grow, that talent will find its way out," Swayze said.

"Talent deserves to be honored. Hands deserve to be slapped if you do something stupid as well, but don't take it too far."