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Mel Hasn't Touched 'Poison' In 65 Days

In his first interview since his arrest in late July, Mel Gibson describes the anti-Semitic comments he made as "just the stupid rambling of a drunkard." He tells ABC News' Diane Sawyer that he battles with staying sober and hasn't had a drink in 65 days.

"No, nothing," he tells Sawyer. "It's … it's poison."

In an exclusive two-part interview — airing Thursday and Friday on "Good Morning America" — Sawyer talks with Gibson about his battle with alcoholism.

"A couple of times, you know, it was like, 'Oh, man, the hell with it,' you know," he says. "But you don't, because I have friends and people that care and, you know, you'll fortunately be at the right place at the right time to, you know, reach out and … And many people have reached out. My goodness. I mean it's … I've been overwhelmed."

Portions of the interview were posted on GMA's Web site Tuesday.

Gibson, 50, pleaded no contest to charges of drunken driving under a deal in which he'll serve three years' probation, pay a fine and attend alcohol rehab classes.

He told Sawyer that he's struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse in the past and that he had began drinking again a couple of months before his July arrest in Malibu.

"Years go by, you're fine. And then all of a sudden in a heartbeat, in an instant, on an impulse, somebody shoves a glass of Mescal in front of your nose, and says, 'It's from Oaxaca,' " he says. "And it's burning its way through your esophagus, and you go, 'Oh, man, what did I do that for? I can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.' "

2In the Oct. 13 portion of the interview, Sawyer and Gibson talk about the anti-Semitic remarks. It will be the first time the actor-director has talked about the anti-Semitic tirade publicly.

"How much did you read of people who came out and said, 'Do not work with him again'? What do you feel about them?" Sawyer asks Gibson.

"I feel sad because they've obviously been hurt and frightened and offended enough to feel that they have to do that," he says. "Um, and it's their choice. There's nothing I can do about that."

3Gibson tells Sawyer that he will continue to make movies.

"I'll always continue to work. I've never much depended on anyone but myself, as far as that goes," he says. "And, hey, I'm not under the illusion that everything's just going to be hunky-dory work wise forever. I've never been under that illusion. Things could go away tomorrow."

The "Braveheart" director hopes that over time he can convince people that he is not anti-Semitic.

"Would you like to say to them, 'Give me a chance to show you who I am?' " Sawyer asks.

"Well, hopefully … in time they'll know," he says. "And, you're powerless over everything really. … All you can do is take another step, keep breathing."

Gibson says that "what I need to do to heal myself and to be assuring and allay the fears of others and to heal them if they had any heart wounds from something I may have said. So, this is the last thing I want to be is that kind of monster."

Insiders tell the New York Post that the sit down with Sawyer is part of a plan to get the scandal behind him before the release of his new film "Apocalypto," a subtitled epic due for release in early December.

The interview took just over an hour and was taped last week at the offices of Gibson's film company in Santa Barbara, the newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, Gibson fears his movie will be hampered by bad press caused by what happened last summer.

Sawyer's 2004 interview with Gibson focused on his controversial film "The Passion of the Christ," and scored high in the ratings.