Mel Gibson addressed his unbridled rant against screenwriter Joe Eszterhas on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Friday night, saying: "Maybe you didn't know this about me, I've got a little bit of a temper."
The actor, promoting his direct-to-VOD film "Get the Gringo," came out firing — discussing the tape-recorded outburst directed at the "Basic Instinct" screenwriter, whom he had partnered with on a movie project about the Jewish Maccabee revolt.
"Has it really come to the place where you can't blow off steam in your own home — even if you're justified," he asked.
The dispute between the two became public after TheWrap obtained a copy of a nine-page letter from Eszterhas to Gibson, accusing the actor of "hating Jews" as well as threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.
On Leno, Gibson said he was upset because Eszterhas had not written a word for the script of "The Maccabees" for 14-15 months. "He finally got one, but it was so bad that Warners rejected it," he said.
"If he put half as much time and effort and creativity and imagination into a screenplay, which he was supposed to write, as he did in that letter, we wouldn't be having this conversation," he said.
The tape, first obtained by TheWrap, was recorded by Eszterhas' 15-year-old son, Nick.
"Was it just you, just swearing at the guy?" Leno asked of the tape.
"Yeah, pretty much," Gibson admitted, smiling and shrugging it off.
The whole incident, he told Leno, has left him "kinda peeved. But that's OK. It's like living in a bad B-movie."