Monday, August 24, 2015

Did Mel Gibson Assault Photographer?

A photographer, Kristin Miller,  has claimed that Australian actor, Mel Gibson, 59, assaulted her.  Her statement is reported as:

“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around he shoved my back really hard. It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow.
He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”

Here is the statement again, with emphasis added for your consideration. 

Vote:  Did it happen as she has stated?

Did Mel Gibson assault photographer? free polls

Put your opinion on this in the comments section, with the reason why you have drawn a conclusion.  

“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around he shoved my back really hard. It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow.
He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”


Lisa21222 said...

Re: Ashely Madison Leak:
John McAfee says it was an inside job, claims the perpetrator was a woman based upon the released statements:

Lisa21222 said...

There should be no need to explain why being pushed shocked her ("because") and the way it made her feel fell into the middle of the statement, rather than the end. She also goes on to tell us what he did NOT do, specifically "breathe".

Suzanne said...

She states she turned around and he shoved her back really hard. Then she changes tenses and says he was spitting in her face. How could he spit in her face from behind her? I don't believe her.

Anonymous said...

I think she's lying, because she reported her emotional reaction in the midst of the story rather than at the end.

Anonymous said...
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Juliet said...

I think she is being untruthful. An elbow dig is quite distinct and would feel different from being pushed by someone!s hands. He couldn't have yelled, called and said all at the same time. There might have been an altercation of some sort, but if so, it was not as stated.

Polo said...

When I initially read the article, I was so prejudiced against Mel Gibson based upon his despicable behavior in the past, that I read the article with the bias to believe the photographer. However, because of my limited knowledge of SA, I didn't believe her reported account.

I don't believe she is being entirely truthful for several reasons. 1) Using the present tense i.e., spitting, calling, yelling, when she should have used past tense. He spat at me. He called me a c word. He yelled at me. 2) Explaining why she was shocked was unnecessary. If you get physically attacked by someone, you usually are shocked. 3) Did he yell at her before he hit her? If so, then she was facing him. 4) If he was yelling so much that he didn't breathe, the photographer must have been facing him, so at what point did she turn her back and get assaulted?

Lastly, I made the mistake of actually listening to the taped recordings of Mel Gibson ranting at his ex girlfriend a few years ago. It was truly horrible and abusive. It was degrading and hard to listen to. With this in mind, I WANT to believe the reporter.

Sus said...

It seems the photog is deceptive and the incident didn't happen like she's telling it. To be hit in the back directly after taking the picture, she had to be in their faces. She puts emotion in the middle. She uses "because" to state she wasn't expecting it, which makes me think she was so near to them she was. Most of her verbs show continuous action. She sees no start or stop to them, which indicates deception. He may have sworn at her.

Polo said...

OT - Thanks, Lisa. I am now going to try to analyze the statements of the hackers. That will be interesting. I think McAfee might have something there.

Sus said...

I thought the same thing. I wanted to believe the a bad way.

Jessica Blans said...

I'm not fond of a gibbon in the past few years, so I expected this woman's statement to be truthful. Alas, I see problems with her linguistic choices.

She uses passive verbs even though it achieves the opposite of her desired effect (I'm assuming that she makes a statement to draw attention to the event and the poor behavior of Gibson). Her linguistic choices, though, minimize the event.

"He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me..." is weak. Compare with "He spit in my face and yelled at me...", which is stronger.

"Saying I'm not even a human being" is imprecise as the verb tense is not a clean past tense verb. And she's dropped the pronoun "he". If true, she'd be expected to directly relate the event as a one-time occurrence for each action, and keep the perpetrator of the abuse noticeable by using his name or a pronoun before the verbs that report his bad behavior.

Expected statement would be more like, "he spit in my face and yelled that im not a human being..."

Jessica Blans

calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t e

Vicki said...
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Paul Flanagan said...

I don't know.

I'm in the middle of taking Mark McClish's home/internet course at the moment. I'm am still learning and questioning.

“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around he shoved my back really hard."

Using "I" pronouns while also speaking in the past. This lends to truthfulness, right?

"It shocked me..."

Passive voice tends to deception.

"because I wasn’t expecting it."

A need to explain, I think, can be an indicator of deception.

"I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow." Present tense and she doesn’t know how she was pushed.

She's still mostly speaking in the past, but isn't the "shocked me" an emotion, and out of place being in the middle of the experience? "Hands" I vaguely remember you saying it can be an indicator of something.

"He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”

"Was spitting" is in the past tense, however "spat" or "spit" (also used informally as past tense) would be better, I think. It's the same thing for "was yelling" I believe--past tense, but “yelled” would be better. As for "calling me a dog, saying I'm not..." These alone are in present tense and without a pronoun.
I think it could be argued though that it's all said in the past and with the pronoun "he", because it's all part of the same sentence referring to the same stated subject and with the helping verb "was".
I have to wonder...Did Mel do some of the things, but not all?

The last two sentences were in the past tense, so that seems to lend to credibility. Why is the last didn't underlined? Is it because she is telling us what he did not do?

From my limited understanding, she spoke mostly in the past tense (or could be argued entirely), and didn't drop pronouns except in a string (list) of actions separated by commas. This leads me to think she is being truthful, however…

the out of place emotion of being “shocked”, some present tense issues, and a single issue of passive voice, leave me confused.

I wouldn’t want to bet on this, so I’m not going to venture until I can. I hope this made sense. I have a feeling I made a bunch of errors.


-- Paul

Buckley said...

Good points Paul, though- just FYI- while "it" is more vague than something like "attack". "It shocked me" is not passive voice. You aren't the only one finding finding a weak wording and calling it passive voice. The passive voice for that statement would be "I was shocked by it" which moves the agent of action from the subject "it" and buries it in a prepositional phrase.

The strongest expected statement would be "he hit me"; the passive voice for that would be "I was hit by him" which moves the "hitter" from first in the sentence to last.

Paul Flanagan said...
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Paul Flanagan said...
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Paul Flanagan said...

You are right. Thanks!

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Note the change in verbs when the assault included name calling, personal issue...


John Mc Gowan said...
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C5H11ONO said...

Can someone slip into present tense language if they are reliving the event?

C5H11ONO said...
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Annonymous17 said...

I think the part about shoving her was truthful. Could the "He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being" be explained as an "ongoing event" and that's why the verb tense changed? This statement seems partially true, that he was spitting, but not in the way that we normally think, more that he was talking so fast. However, she makes it sound like he spit deliberately on her. Also, using the word "saying" may indicate that he said it, but not to her. Maybe he said it to someone else and she heard it, and the way she phrases it makes it sound like he was saying it over and over again directly to her.

I'm gonna go with "partially true," and she phrased it in a way that deceptively made it sound worse or a more verbal direct attack than it actually was.

BallBounces said...

“he shoved my back really hard. It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow."

By elbow she may mean his forearm, which includes the elbow. (As opposed to an elbow in the back which would be sharp and pointed.)

" It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it."

This is the only segment that strikes me as odd. Who would be expecting it? Perhaps she is thinking that there was no prior verbal altercation or indication that there was a problem. This would cause a shock to one's system.

"He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me"

These are not two separate actions as has been suggested; it suggests spittle was being emitted from his mouth as he was yelling at her.

"It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.”

Since breathing is normal and continuous, this is not a "something he didn't do" comment, it is a comment about something he did do -- he was yelling at her to the point where he wasn't breathing.

John Mc Gowan said...


Eric Roberts, Ex-Trooper Accused Of Rape At Traffic Stops, Due In Court.

Several women have come forward.

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) -- A former Oklahoma state trooper accused of sexually assaulting three women during traffic stops is set to be arraigned on some of the charges.

Eric Roberts is due in court Tuesday to answer charges of second-degree rape, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, seeking a bribe and embezzlement. The allegations came to light last year when a woman filed a federal lawsuit alleging Roberts raped her following a traffic stop. Two more women later made similar allegations.

Roberts was suspended in July 2014 and resigned two months later following his arrest. The head of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has said that Roberts turned off his dashboard camera during six traffic stops, including two referenced in the federal lawsuit.

Roberts is free on bond. His attorney has said he'll dispute the charges.

Juliet said...

The photographer took a photo and Mel,Gibson swore at her. That much is true, but I don't know about any of the rest There must be cctv so it seems unlikely she would make up an assault. However, if it was his elbow, there would likely be one sharp point of contact, whereas it would take two hands, and two points of contact, to actually push someone over?

Anonymous said...


Igoogled the cop story and found one had been murdered by his own son in another town. The police cheif perhaps? It was Sapulpa.

Anonymous said...

My bad! It was the Labor Commissioner of OKC murdered by his own son.

Anonymous said...

Anywho...whatever Mel said or wettly sputtered, she deserved. That's a bad photo!

TommysMom said...

OT but interesting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The mother of a missing Jacksonville toddler has bonded out of jail.

Records show Lonna Lauramore Barton left jail Monday. She had been held on charges of child neglect and giving false information to police who were searching for Lonzie Barton. The 21-month-old boy disappeared July 24 while in the care of his mother's boyfriend William "Ruben" Ebron.

The Florida Times-Union reports she failed to tell them her son had a bruise on the back of his head and was leaking yellow fluid from his ears before she left him with Ebron so she could work on July 23.

Ebron is charged with two counts of child neglect and remains in jail. It's not clear whether either have hired attorneys.

Paul Flanagan said...

"calling me a dog, saying I'm not even a human being..."

If we separate the segments where she is name calling, then it is in present tense, but what about "...called me a c**t"?

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi, Paul

"He swore and called me a c**t".

It is in the past tense and % wise true. The word "swore", for me, is not necessary. Remove "swore and", and we have a much stronger statement. "he called me a c**t. Or, he swore (at me) and "called me a c**t. "Swore" and "called me" are separate. What did he swear before he "called" her "a c**t? The association is "swore" followed by "c**t".

That's may take on it. I maybe wrong however.

John Mc Gowan said...

*(likely) true

Dave said...

Off Topic:

Have you guys seen this story? It caught my eye when I was in Walmart yesterday because it was all over the big screen TVs. Missing 16 yr old girl in Horry County from where Heather Elvis went missing. The resemblance between this girl and Heather Elvis is uncanny.

Dave said...

Please click on the link I posted above and scroll down in the story to see the actual missing person's flyer. The girl looks like she could be Heather Elvis's twin.

Anonymous said...

Britney Drexler went missing from there 6 years ago. She looks like her too. I wonder if there is a serial killer at work down there?

I don't think this new missing girl is related to Heather Elvis.


gstone said...

I believe she took the photo because she said so very directly and without qualifying words. I don't believe that Mr. Gibson shoved her hard, spit in her face, or called her names.

"Really hard" seems to be qualifying the "shove". The placement of the emotion of shock and the need to explain, as well as the change in tenses when it comes to the verbal abuse (in my opinion) reduce the reliability of those portions of the statement.

BallBounces said...

She uses past tenses throughout. See

Statement Analysis Blog said...

When a verb tense changes, look to see if

a. deception or
b. ongoing impact (especially with trauma)

also, cursing and c*** are different, with c*** getting its own detail. This would stand out beyond 'normal' cursing or insulting and can be very personal.

Spitting is also very personal and sensory.

does this help?


Paul Flanagan said...

I think so.

I would say then that the verb changes were part of an ongoing impact. With "swore" and "c***" I understand the separation and getting its own detail, because it is a very, very sensitive curse word specifically with women. I don't even know if a woman would use it in making up a story.

(Still kinda scared to go out on a limb...) She's telling the truth.


Paul Flanagan said...

IDK, but the shocked part is still out of place, right?

gstone said...

BallBounces, thank you for the link.

I'm wondering if the push part might still be suspect? I was thinking about this again, and the sentence about not knowing whether she was pushed with his hands or elbow seems out of place. No one asked her (that I can see) how she was pushed, and really it shouldn't matter how whether he used his hands or his elbow. That together with the need to explain, and the insertion of shock.

I think she may have took the picture, and he cursed her out, but she wasn't shoved hard. Thoughts?

Buckley said...

The thing that gets me about the shove is that he "shoved my back". If he "shoved" her "really hard" it would have impacted her whole body and she would have said he shoved "me". I think if a shove with an open hand or hands; that she thinks it could have been his elbow makes me think it was a sharp or more "pointed" contact like an aggressive tap to get her to turn around and listen to him.

I don't think he spit in her face. She ties "was spitting" to "as he was yelling" so it seems more like he yelled and spittle flew as he yelled, not that he made the effort to directly spit on her.

I agree he cussed, starting with something like "what the F are you...stupid c***" and the c word she took more personally.

BallBounces said...


"I'm wondering if the push part might still be suspect? I was thinking about this again, and the sentence about not knowing whether she was pushed with his hands or elbow seems out of place."

I agree. It seems gratuitous. Who cares? What difference would it make? It sounds like an added detail in an attempt to persuade.

C5H11ONO said...

“I took a photo of Mel and his girlfriend and when I turned around
--She took a picture of “Mel”. She is using his first name only. If I were to take a picture of Mel Gibson, I would have said, “I took a picture of Mel Gibson and his girlfriend.” That is because I don’t know him personally, despite him being famous. She used Mel. Has she taken pictures of him in the past? Has she taken enough pictures for him to know her as a paparazzi?
--“and when I turned around” – she is leaving off information between the time she took a picture of Mel and the time she turned around. What transpired between the time she snapped the picture and turned around. Did he speak to her? Did he tell her anything? Was he already telling her something when she snapped the picture? Did he tell her not to take a picture and she did it anyway?

“he shoved my back really hard.”
He shoved her back would have been sufficient as the word “shove” indicates forcefulness. She weakened the statement by adding “really and hard”. She is trying to convince you that he became violent. The statement would have worked equaly well if she would have send, “He shoved me”.

“It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it.”
Here she has a need to indicate why a shove shocked her. This is interesting as anybody getting shoved would be shocked, but she has a need to explain why she was shocked. She said she wasn’t expecting “it”. What was she expecting then? She was expecting something, just not “it”.

“ I don’t know if it was his hands or elbow.”
Here she tells us what she doesn’t know which is not reliable. She doesn’t know if it was his “hands” (plural) or “elbow”. What if it was his hip? Here she is telling us she didn’t know if it was his hands or his elbow, therefore she is certain that it was either one.

“He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me,”
--He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me. She is slipping into present tense language. She may be reliving the event or it may be story telling.
“calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being”
--She left out the pronouns. This is unreliable. Is this an embedded confession “I’m not even a human being”? Does she have issues with herself?
“and I will go to hell.“
--Another embedded confession?
“He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe.””
--She is highlighting a difference between swearing at her and calling her a c**t. She had no problem stating that he called her a c**t, but was unable to share what the swear words were. C**t is one of the ugliest words a person could say, yet she had no problem sharing it.
She spoke again with what Mel didn’t do. He didn’t “even” breathe. She weakened the statement by adding “even”. The statement would have worked well had she said, He didn’t breathe. She was able to go back into past tense here.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The purposes (plural) of posting quizzes like this one are interesting.

There are several purposes.

Would you take a guess as to some of the purposes? And, if so, do you think it is successful?


Stuart said...


"It shocked me" is storytelling and not reporting. She places emotions in just the right place.

It is not past tense.

She speaks in the negative, saying what she doesn't know.

Sus said...

Here is a nice investigative report on the Kendrick Johnson case. The reporter interviews Brian and Brandon Bell. It's the first time they've spoken. Would you be interested in analyzing it?

trustmeigetit said...

I bet Mel was rude to her. But I personally don't think it's our right to constantly hound celebrities. I know most say this comes with the job but it has to get old. I mean to think you can't just do things with out someone in your face.

I think she then took his rudeness and ran with making it much worse than it was for attention.

Then OTOm Dylan Redwine

I never say this till looking for some more details... I guess right after the found the body Mark posted these videos to show how likely it could be that Dylan would walk into the mountains. It feels like he was putting the theory out there instead if searching for answers.

Also he does this hike in summer not winter which is very different. Also it was stated before that Dylan had arrived with out a winter coat and it ranged between 29-40 degrees that morning while Mark was out. Don't buy Dylan hiking into the show filled mountains for cell service with out a coat in that weather.

Sus said...

The part I did believe was "He swore and called me a c**t." She committed to HE SWORE. I wasn't sure about the name because there is a dropped pronoun...kind of. Now, as a poster pointed out, would she really call him by his first name if he called her such a demeaning name? I don't think so.

trustmeigetit said...

OT MCStay family

Am I the only one that just doesn't get how they are claiming the family was murdered with a sledgehammer in their home.

Let's be clear here, that would result in massive amounts of blood and fluids. Everywhere...

Yet the initial search of the home there was nothing noted as alarming other than God left out.

Anonymous said...

Would you take a guess as to some of the purposes? And, if so, do you think it is successful?

To realize the different scenarios and contexts in SA and that the principles are fluid, not cut and dried?

2nd opinions...two heads are better than one?

Practice. You learn from your mistakes.


Juliet said...

Some purposes for posting the quizzes might be: to compare how many people answer the poll compared to how many are also willing/able/prepared to post the reasoning to support either choice - what percentage of readers attempt a fair assessment, against how many might make an unfair judgement. To see how much existing knowledge and possible prejudices might be influencing the poll choices made and the written posts - i.e Mel Gibson has form on rude outbursts, so it might be tempting for some to pre-judge him rather than approach the story with enough detachment or fairness.. To compare how accurate the assessments made by those trained in statement analysis are compared to those who only know as much as they pick up from reading the blog, and who ( like me) generally lack the discipline and attention of those who have taken/are taking the courses, and so are more likely to go off on tangents and not stick to the principles because it's not habit enough, or because the principles are not necessarily being understood and applied correctly or consistently. Maybe also to see how well people read the question

Did Mel Gibson assault photographer?
Yes, she is reliable
No, she is not telling the truth

- will some decide no he didn't assault her, because her account doesn't seem to quite add up, when the truth could be that there was an assault of some description, but maybe she's embellished it to make it sound worse than it was, and so what she says is more unreliable than completely untrue. There is no option for that in the poll, but if that might be the truth of the situation, it would indicate that those who answered the poll were not attending closely enough to the question/and/ or the options, or were making a hasty judgement, as neither option should be wholly satisfactory - so, if that were the case, there you would probably hope for fewer respondents.

So, the quizzes are largely for research/interest I should think, and to make the reader think about the question and options rather than to make quick judgements and settle for an option which is only near enough, when it may be the case that neither option should be chosen.

Juliet said...

Ah, I've just read the newer post, and see the photographer was telling the truth. I tended more towards it being partial truth, which serves to illustrate the point that if one doesn't have sufficient knowledge of the principles and how to apply them, or the habits specific to statement analysis, then mistakes are to be expected. :)

Buckley said...

Is she considered paparazzi? If so, calling him Mel doesn't surprise me.

trustmeigetit said...

I meant "food" left out not God.

BallBounces said...

Because Hyatt Investigations is hiring and you are auditioning recruits? ;)

Bobannafannafofanna said...

She is truthful. The fact that she uses progressive tense is appropriate, because he was doing two things simultaneously. He spat while he swore at me? No. It was ongoing and appropriate tense usage because, as she says at the end, it was continuous. He didn't even breathe. The fact that he called her a c*nt is told in past tense because it was NOT continuous/progressive. He called her that, and then moved on. Past tense is appropriate.
Truthful account. I am surprised so many are not thinking this through, unless I am wrong. Maybe I am.
It feels right.
; )

As for the dropped pronoun, that poor anchor wishes she were somewhere else. She was disassociating from what she saw. What she saw and what she heard did not make sense within the context of the normal work day and what she knew to be true about her city, her town. That was her brain providing protection - disassociating from the trauma. The sensory information did not fit within the context of what she was used to and understood to have been happening immediately prior and expected to happen that day. This assault was 2 years in the making, 2 years after the firing of this bastard. It was definitely not top of mind awareness for anyone there but the bastard.

Sus said...

This one threw me for a loop. She is paparazzi, and for that reason she may be familiar with him and calls him Mel. Since she is paparazzi, I dismissed the continuos action verbs as signs of stress. I figured she was used to being jostled and shoved, and yelled and sworn at. It's all part of the job when you're in the face of someone who doesn't want you there.

I like exercises like this. I think your purposes are 1) give group experience 2) practice in using context 3) show there are exceptions to the "rules" 4) maybe practice in being open to possibilities, or open to changing the mind as we work through the statement. Using the 40% rule.

There are probably others. Like seeing if we questioned anything. I did. I googled to see the other side and Mel Gibson can't give a reliable denial, so you're okay. :-)

Sus said...

Someone had painted, right? I'm assuming over the blood spatter. I can't believe LE did not luminal that, and check for missed flecks. Or did they?

Paul Flanagan said...

I'd say part of the purpose is to observe the thinking and learning process. It's also a very helpful way of learning, especially with the little "nudges" along the way. I think it's extremely helpful. Thank you! Give us the the lowdown on this Gibson story and I'll know for sure. ;)

-- Paul

Paul Flanagan said...

oh, you did.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Consider that Mel Gibson is a celebrity and then consider the length of the encounter.

Had she worked with him, getting to know him for months, I would expect a difference in how she addresses him.

As a stranger? No.

That she works in media may have helped restrain her from using vulgarity in anger.


Statement Analysis Blog said...

Also consider:

the first few sentences are not in doubt: they are reliable.

Therefore, when the verb tense changed, did something change for her?

Being shoved from behind...this is not face to face, and less personal.

Being assaulted, physically and verbally, face to face, is different.

Spitting: this is not only legally an "assault" but it is considered personally disgusting and highly insulting.

For the subject, this is very personal and at the time of the statement, not over.

The second portions are "less reliable" technically. This is why you must ask yourself if "less reliable", especially in light of the "highly reliable" first sentences, precludes veracity.

In this case, it does not.

She told the truth.

Mel's got some temper.


Statement Analysis Blog said...

BallBounces said...
Because Hyatt Investigations is hiring and you are auditioning recruits? ;)
August 26, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Eventually, yes.

Sus said...

I should clarify my comment. I don't mean that she works with or is on friendly terms with Mel Gibson. I mean she may follow (stalk) him so much he FEELS familiar to her. I've seen clips where paparazzi are yelling out the celebrity's name, and it's the first name.

Buckley said...

Yes, that's what I meant as well :)

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...

He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me,"

She does not say he spat in my face.

Many people when irate and "yelling" "spray" spit as they are "yelling" shouting or angry.

Kellie said...

So Youtube has taken down the news crew shooting video due to "shocking and disgusting" content! I find that interesting. I tried to get them to take down a beheading video and they refused. Hypocrisy abounds!