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Jodie Foster defends Mel Gibson after tape scandal

09/22/2010 by Corinne Heller

Cast member Mel Gibson, right, Jodie Foster, center, and Oksana Grigorieva pose together at the premiere of 'Edge of Darkness' in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010.  (Photo courtesy of AP / Matt Sayles) Jodie Foster has come to the defense of Mel Gibson, her former Maverick co-star who appears with her in the new film The Beaver, amid his custody battle with his ex-girlfriend and the surfacing of tapes said to contain a racist, sexist and explicit rant by him against her.

"When you love a friend, you don't abandon them when they are struggling," Foster told MORE magazine in an interview published in its October 2010 issue.

"Of course, Mel is an undeniably gifted actor and director, and The Beaver is one of his most powerful and moving performances," she said. "But more importantly, he is and has been a true and loyal friend. I hope I can help him get through this dark moment."

Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva are involved in an custody battle over their baby daughter, Lucia and police are investigating claims by Grigorieva that Gibson allegedly abused her during a January confrontation. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made. Grigorieva is also being investigated for possible extortion. Gibson's former wife has said he never used violence against her.

Gibson has not commented on audio tapes of what is said to be his rant against Grigorieva, who denies she provided them to RadarOnline.com, which posted the recordings.

Foster had also defended Gibson after a 2006 DUI tirade in which he hurled anti-Semitic and sexist comments at the arresting police officers. He later entered rehab for alcohol-related treatment and his conviction has since been expunged.

Foster is also the director of The Beaver, which tells of a guy who walks around with a puppet of a beaver on his hand and treats it like a living creature. The movie has no release date.