Bill Hersey, Mel Gibson in Tokyo

[Tokyo Flashback] The Golden Boy Mel Gibson in Tokyo

Mel Gibson visited Tokyo many times. However, the Once and Future Golden Boy from Down Under has had his share of controversies. Alcoholism, anti-Semitic remarks, and general strangeness (last seen sporting a big beer-belly and overgrown beard) have caused many to think twice about the actor—once considered to have the most beautiful eyes in Hollywood. Not Bill Hersey, however. To Bill, Mel is still the nice, slightly scruffy, laid-back guy he’s always been.

Spit Out That Gum, Young Man! Mel came over to promote the film Lethal Weapon (I can’t remember which one), and he was with Danny Glover and…another weird guy. And that was the time he met the singer Freda Payne. She was in the musical Blues in the Night, which was playing in town. I had a party at the Lex for the Blues in the Night people, and Mel came into the club and joined the party. Then, when I was taking a photo of them outside the club Mel was just chomping on his gum. So I said to him “spit out that gum so I can take a proper photo of you!” and he thought that was so funny. He said, “nobody ever speaks to me like that” and started laughing and spit out his gum like a nice guy.

Bill Hersey, Mell Gibson in Tokyo for Lethal Weapon

Mel Gibson visited Tokyo once to promote his pet project Braveheart. He was wearing a suit, sat in the VIP corner, and was so nice to all the young models that of course came up to him. And after a good night out, he left and I went home. Then I got a call from him, saying he lost his gold cigar cutter, apparently at the club. We looked all over the place for it but really couldn’t find it. To be honest, he had been in so many places that day he could have lost it anywhere. I hate to say it too, but if he dropped it in the club I don’t think any of those models would have thought twice about snatching it up. He was really upset though. Japan was the last stop on his promotional tour for Braveheart and his two security guards had bought this cigar cutter as a gift and had it engraved.

Champagne Trouble I met his wife Robin once, a long time ago. She was a real plain Jane at the time, but she looks quite glamorous in recent photos. I always thought he was completely faithful to her, but then I saw a photo of him in some magazine out in some Las Vegas desert bar drinking champagne out of a woman’s shoe. I know that doesn’t really mean anything, except that it wouldn’t taste so good.

Mel Gibson at Lexington Queen for Mad Max
Mel Gibson honored at the Lexington Queen club in Tokyo (LEX Tokyo)

Dent In the Armor I know Mel has been getting a lot of heat recently for his alcohol prob-lems and controversial statements and so forth. But I think he’s always been a pretty independent guy, and he’ll weather this storm and just live his life. I was really surprised to read about his problems though. I’ve seen him have a drink or two, bu he’s never caused any problems.

I remember one time he came into the Lex and we had a Japanese drum show. He was so impressed by it and just so into it (see photo right). After the show the drummers just packed up and left, which is what they always do because people want to dance and that’s not really their scene. When Mel heard that they had left, he was so sorry.

He said he really wanted to say thank you to them for the great show. And that’s how I remember Mel. As just a really nice guy.

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