April 15, 2009

That divorce will cost $500 million.

But the damage to his hyper-Catholic reputation is so much worse.

71 comments:

Henry said...

Whew. For a minute there I thought Justice Scalia was getting a divorce. Though $500 million would be unexpected.

HelenParr said...

Mel Gibson is NOT a Roman Catholic. He does not recognize Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of his church. I beg you to please get this right.

mcg said...

Helen: Do you have evidence of that? I mean, I know Hutton Gibson is a pretty famous sedevacantist but I thought Mel Gibson had said otherwise. Regardless, though, there is nothing for Althouse to "get right". She cited his "hyper-Catholic reputation" which is entirely accurate in spite of these details.

HelenParr said...

Aussie's got it right. There are rad trads -- radical traditionalists -- within the Church. Gibson is not one of them.

Do we have to say Ann Althouse, you are discredited forever?

mcg said...

Interesting, Helen, thanks. But again it contradicts nothing in what Althouse said above.

HelenParr said...

More here.

rhhardin said...

It's not lost money. His wife gets it.

Not that I know who Mel Gibson is.

MadisonMan said...

Mel Gibson has bigger problems than his faltering reputation as a hyper Catholic.

commenter said...

The stickiest part of this is that busy body people who have to get involved want to know every last detail and make a divorce public and cruel.

The trouble with keeping a divorce friendly and non publicized is that there is always somebody on the outside who starts a display that gets the thing out in public and it's either hard to ignore, cause if they were right, you could agree, but it's only themselves they see.

and to not say or do anything takes age, wisdom, and calm which is hard to find when you are going through one hell of a time.

Anybody who divorces after this long of a period and having a family together, I wish you all the wisdom and calm you can muster. It's going to be worse than you can imagine and just wait that the press and A list online experts are gonna hang you out and beat you with the rug beater, too.

IF it has to be a beating, hopefully they'll be some heart left in it.

http://www.gonecountryantiques.com/pictures/Heart-Rug-Beater(4).JPG

HelenParr said...

More on different kinds of 'traditionalists'.

mcg said...

OK, enough, Helen! We can stipulate he's not a Catholic. Fine. You've done your part in this tiny remote section of the blogosphere to dispel the notion. But guess what, he still has a hyper-Catholic reputation, and that is a big part of the story.

HelenParr said...

mcg: Just trying to do a spiritual work of mercy. #1.Still struggling, however, with #4.

zedzded said...

Whoa - does 500 mil make his ex- look hot or what?

ShadyCharacter said...

I'm not sure why it should be damaging to his reputation as a Catholic (which I use for convenience while stipulating for Helen's benefit that I agree he is not actually a Roman Catholic) or a Christian.

His wife is divorcing him, right? As far as I know not having sat the California bar, unlike in the Muslim world a husband can't simply refuse to get divorced! So what, exactly, is he doing wrong from a Christian perspective? Having a divorce thrust on you means nothing.

From a Catholic perspective the marriage (the spiritual union of Mel and his wife) would continue even though the legal one has been dissolved. His "reputation" (or more accurately I guess, his "standing") as a Catholic would be called into question only upon an attempted remarriage.

As far as his being a bad Catholic because he had an affair or whatever other bad act he may have committed that led his wife to want to divorce him, so what?

Christians/Catholics are not expected to be perfect. In fact, the expectation is that EVERY person alive is a sinner and will sin. Upon sinning a Catholic will repent and confess. And then go sin again. Repeat until death.

former law student said...

Helen Parr's sources would seem to be wrong -- while a Traditionalist, Mel Gibson has not renounced Papal authority. Using wikipedia as a starting point, print articles indicate that Gibson's chapel was consecrated by the retired Archbishop of Hermosillo, still in good standing with the Church, who Mel Gibson had met while doing a movie. The Archbishop had also confirmed a couple of Mel's nieces and nephews. One of the priests supposedly in charge of the chapel, Fr. Louis Campbell, is a former Augustinian who joined the Society of St. Pius X, but left when Lefevbre consecrated the four bishops in defiance of the Pope. He then joined the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which accepts the authority of Pope Benedict XVI.

The wikipedia article does not indicate who the current priest of Mel's chapel is. But so far, Mel has affiliated himself only with Catholic clergy in good standing with the Church of Rome

litsskad said...

Despite Roman Catholic protestations to the contrary, "Catholic" and "Roman Catholic" are not synonymous, and never have been. Using "Catholic" for "Roman Catholic" is, at most, a convenient shorthand.

former law student said...

Regarding the effects of divorce on Mel's reputation: While many will be misled, Catholics should realize that there is no sin in getting divorced -- some married couples simply cannot live together -- the sin lies only in a subsequent remarriage. Catholic marriage is ended only by the death of one spouse; any remarriage while that spouse is alive constitutes adultery.

Here, Gibson's wife originated the divorce, so no fault can attach to Gibson (assuming he's not abusive, etc.).

This supposes that the Gibsons had a valid Catholic marriage to begin with. If they had only a civil marriage, divorce would mean the end of an extended period of fornication.

HelenParr said...

Well, that you call it "Mel's chapel" and that they have an unlisted number and are not on the roster of Los Angeles churches in the Roman Catholic archdiocese goes a long way toward disproving his affiliation with Roman Catholics.

Here's a little more on his dad's church, decidedly not part of that Roman Catholic diocese, either.

Henry Buck said...

Shady has it right. Mel is essentially helpless in defending a traditional view of marriage as a lifelong covenant in the face of civil law, which does not recognize that traditional belief and allows one spouse to opt out for any reason, no reason.

Mel will also be mercilessly mocked if he, as a personal matter, chooses to consider himself still bound by his covenant, while his ex wife goes on to "greener" pastures.

rhhardin said...

I remember when cafeterias had to serve fish on Fridays.

That was the beginning of the rebellion of the cafeteria Catholics.

It was that or the brown gravy Catholics.

class-factotum said...

This supposes that the Gibsons had a valid Catholic marriage to begin with. If they had only a civil marriageI think if two Catholics marry, even in a civil ceremony, it is considered valid in the eyes of the Church. The rules change when non-Catholics are involved. My Lutheran husband got an annulment a year ago from his nominally Catholic ex-wife. It was a piece of cake because 1) they were married in a Presbyterian church and 2) she had not gotten her first marriage (to a Catholic, in a Catholic church) annulled.

HelenParr said...

I will note that when it served him, Mel Gibson pursued Roman Catholic support of his "Passion" by doing advance screening for the Knights of Columbus and other influential Roman Catholic organizations. He made sure that Pope John Paul II got to screen it, too. Remember the papal thumbs up? "It is as it was." A big bunch of his loot came from Christians of all sects.

Catholics believe that Matrimony is a Sacrament--more than a contract, more than a covenant, even. It is an outward sign of an inward grace. If entered licitly, it is indissoluble. Couples who have a sacramental marriage can only be separated by death.

Declaring a marriage a nullity (often misnamed 'an annulment') simply declares that no sacramental union existed.

That's why Newt Gingrich, married twice but NEVER within the meaning of the church, could go through the process to declare those unions nullities and be welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church with full benefits. And obligations.

Henry Buck: The word on the street was that Mel has already gone to greener pastures. He might regret all his protests about how wonderful, devoted, influential Robyn has been on him...further evidence that he owes her half of a substantial pile of money.

former law student said...

I think if two Catholics marry, even in a civil ceremony, it is considered valid in the eyes of the Church.It could go either way. The priest's blessing is not essential. In the case of civil marriage, you would look to the intent of the parties.

Zeb Quinn said...

Can anybody cite something that says Mel is resisting giving her half of the marital estate?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Mel blew his hyper-religious image with me, and I suspect a lot of other people, when he drove drunk at 2:00 AM and acted like a fool with the police. Happily married, mature folks with kids are at home in the bed at that hour.

Pogo said...

..."when he drove drunk at 2:00 AM and acted like a fool with the police. Happily married, mature folks with kids are at home in the bed at that hour.".
Dang.
Now I'll have to cancel my plans for tonight.
=P

Trooper York said...

It just means he can't be ambassador to the Vatican.

hdhouse said...

and we care about him/this why?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The stickiest part of this is that busy body people who have to get involved want to know every last detail and make a divorce public and cruelTrue. The last sentence in the article was practially salivating at the idea of WWIII in their divorce. How disappointing if it turns out to be amicable.

k*thy said...

Hyper-religious equates with happily married and mature? Not buying it.

Also, I don't think being a drunk disqualifies you for being hyper-religious. I agree they don't really fit together, but it happens plenty.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Mel Gibson is hyper-Catholic like Fred Phelps is hyper-Christian. That is, crazy and not respected by mainstream Catholics or Christians.

Joseph Hovsep said...

k*thy: "I don't think being a drunk disqualifies you for being hyper-religious."

I agree, but Jew-hating disqualifies you from being a respectable religious person.

William said...

Shouldn't there be an absolute dollar limit on the value of a temporarily happy marriage? A half billion dollars seems dear for what was less than infinite domestic bliss....Maybe one of the unintended consequences of gay marriage will be a reworking of our property settlement laws in divorce. These laws are unfair. Perhaps gay advocacy groups with their knowledge of lobbying techniques can help to reform them.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Why is it unfair to split property equally with your spouse of 28 years?

former law student said...

Why is it unfair to split property equally with your spouse of 28 years?"Robyn Moore" doesn't sell any movie tickets. Is raising Mel's kids and making sure he has a coddled egg for breakfast every morning really worth 500 million dollars?

Sofa King said...

Why is it unfair to split property equally with your spouse of 28 years?For one thing, it obviously wasn't earned equally.

For another thing, marriage requires mutual consent. Divorce doesn't.

Bissage said...

So, is anybody going to do the math to see if Robyn Moore ends up getting paid more per hour than Ashley Dupré? If so, she’ll still have to beat Heather Mills. Link.

Joseph Hovsep said...

A marriage is a partnership with the potential for risk and reward (financial, emotional and otherwise) shared equally during the course of the marriage. Mel didn't earn money that he let his wife have access to in his sole discretion. The couple earned money and built a family together, sharing and dividing responsibilities to make their family work. I would be very reluctant to enter a marriage with someone who didn't see it that way. But of course, if you want to set up a complicated alternative system, you can negotiate a prenup. Mel did not.

Bissage said...

Majority rule is equitable distribution.

James H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

(I agree, but Jew-hating disqualifies you from being a respectable religious person.)

Unless you're a Muslim of course.

James H said...

"Helen: Do you have evidence of that? I mean, I know Hutton Gibson is a pretty famous sedevacantist but I thought Mel Gibson had said otherwise. "

The Church he funds and attends is full of Sedevacantist

So Gibsons says he might believe the Pope is the Pope but one wonders how he sqaures that with investing a hundred million into a Church that has this belief system

What speaks stronger

mcg said...

Some people see it as her taking $500 million, others set it as him having $500 million left. Either way they're both going to still be swimming in it. If he had any sense he'd write the check and be done with it.

Eli Blake said...

Why is it that a divorce is supposed to be worse for your reputation than an anti-Semitic rant?

Is this the days of Hester Pryne and the Inquisition all over again?

Revenant said...

Is raising Mel's kids and making sure he has a coddled egg for breakfast every morning really worth 500 million dollars?If he didn't think it was, he could have divorced her a long time ago. Or insisted that she sign an agreement that money from films was his and his alone.

But he didn't do that, which suggests that -- to him -- the marriage was worth the 50% of his income that went to his wife. It might not be worth it to him NOW, but oh well. Buyer's remorse and all that.

Revenant said...

Couples who have a sacramental marriage can only be separated by death.That just means that the Gibsons will remain married in the eyes of the church, and thus won't be able to remarry. Plus if they ever have sex with other people, that'll be adultery.

But nothing stops Catholics from going through a civil divorce and splitting up their property.

Synova said...

For one thing, it obviously wasn't earned equally.I'm not one to devalue what it means to have a spouse available to keep domestic issues in line (even if they are working out of the home as well) and how much value there is in having a second adult around when it comes to enabling one spouse to make boat-loads of money. The *freedom* to go somewhere and make a movie for 4 months is worth a whole lot.

Is it worth equal shares? I think there is probably a threshold above which it is not.

For another thing, marriage requires mutual consent. Divorce doesn't.And for me this is the clincher.

Both parties agreeing to a partnership agree to build something of value together, mostly because it's got more value together than it does as two halves. When one person decides to take their share and leave, what is left is always less than half the value. The person who leaves also gets less than half the value... but that was his or her *choice*. That's why divorce is one of the indicators of poverty... all the combined expenses are now duplicated.

It really ought to make a difference if a divorce is for cause and if one party or the other is at fault. One person really should not be able to dissolve the partnership without penalty.

Synova said...

The problem many people have with pre-nups is that there is an essential disconnect in making a promise "until death do us part" but "please sign this so you don't screw me when you leave."

Kensington said...

I assume that the vast majority of people expecting damage to Gibson's reputation as a Christian (or Catholic) are non-Christians.

As a Roman Catholic, I'm quite familiar with the notion that we are all sinners and that this does not free us from the obligation to seek and advocate pious lives to the best of our abilities.

No Christian I know expects it to be easy.

Eli Blake said...

Well, whether it is worth equal shares depends on what state you live in.

California, being a community property state, says it is equal shares. Other states have different laws.

I've heard the best state to move to before a divorce if you earn a lot more money than your spouse is Michigan, but I'm not an expert and I have no interest in getting a divorce, so I don't know for sure.

Revenant said...

The problem many people have with pre-nups is that there is an essential disconnect in making a promise "until death do us part" but "please sign this so you don't screw me when you leave."

I'm of the opinion that any and all civilly-recognized marriages and unions should be required to have an agreement on file detailing how assets will be divided in the result of divorce.

It would save a great deal of time and effort, and would get around the whole "gee, a prenup isn't very romantic" thing by making it something that engaged couples HAVE to go through. It would eliminate most divorce proceedings too, I'd expect.

Synova said...

I agree, Rev.

Making it a requirement to have a pre-nup solves that problem.

And as much as I hate saying that the State should do yet one more thing... it could be argued that the State has an interest.

commenter said...

I agree, Revernant.

the discussion about such brings money and values of money out into the open before the marriage which would probably have people thinking twice about such. If prenups didn't have the stigma of being about a rich and a poor man/woman and about endings but instead were about being how people view financial relationships in a marriage as 1) how joseph writes above somewhere or 2) as separate and for sometimes good reasons not to be shared, then they would have a better reputation. And since you can renew vows you could also review your that during a marriage. too.

money on the table and words spoken which greatly affect how you live. People should be more open to this.

Jeremy said...

Rev - "I'm of the opinion that any and all civilly-recognized marriages and unions should be required to have an agreement on file detailing how assets will be divided in the result of divorce."

I see you're quite the romantic.

As to Mel, he's been married for quite some time and I can't imagine anybody who's getting married and planning on having kids making sure who gets what when they get divorced.

For all of you here who have kids...did you make sure to get a contract with each of them so they know exactly what each will get when you move on?

Pogo said...

Rev, how do you shape a prenup for money and assets you don't have?

28 years ago, Gibson wasn't worth $1`B.

It's all in the wording, I suppose.

Jeremy said...

Synova said..."The problem many people have with pre-nups is that there is an essential disconnect in making a promise 'until death do us part' but "please sign this so you don't screw me when you leave'."

And what part of the pre-nup isn't related to exactly that...unless of course, neither party is really interested or believes they will be partners "until death do us part?"

And there are aren't many pre-nups that can't be broken or altered via a good attorney.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For all of you here who have kids...did you make sure to get a contract with each of them so they know exactly what each will get when you move on?


That is generally called a will and it is a very very good idea for when we 'move on' to taking the big dirt nap. It will keep the family from squabbling.

It is even more important to also have a trust/trusts and a will with detailed bequests when there are blended families so that your kids don't get screwed by the second wife/husband and her/his kids. It happens all the time.

Nothing wrong with a little pre-planning. Might as well put it to good use when getting married and save everyone a lot of trouble.

Revenant said...

Rev, how do you shape a prenup for money and assets you don't have?Any way you want to.

28 years ago, Gibson wasn't worth $1`B."Both parties agree that, upon dissolution of this marriage, any marital assets in excess of $250,000 (in constant 1980 dollars) shall be divided between the parties in a manner proportionate to their average incomes over the life of the marriage".

It would have to be more complicated than that, of course, to allow for the disposition of children and such. But there could be a set of standard templates for that sort of thing, for those who didn't feel like putting thought into it.

Revenant said...

I see you're quite the romantic.

I'm a realist. Depending on how you count the statistics, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Anything with a 40%+ failure rate ought to have a solid plan in place for how to handle failure. Anyone getting married should give some thought to what divorce would mean. Doing so might even cut the divorce rate by discouraging people who think divorce is likely from getting married in the first place.

Synova said...

One of the churches I attended had a Divorce Seminar for married people who were contemplating divorce. (I think they put it in the paper and offered it to the community.)

It wasn't marriage counseling but a look at just how much hassle a break up was going to be. The lady who organized it had been divorced, as had both of her sisters, and I don't think that she would argue that someone ought to stay in a bad marriage, but she explained that people going through the course often realized that divorce took *more* cooperation and effort than staying married did, particularly if children were involved.

William said...

Revenant suggestion is excellent, as is Pogo's objections. It is very easy to be idealistic about the equitable distribution of wealth if you are young and in love, and the wealth does not, in fact, exist. I don't think a default prenup would help young couples, but it would force older couples to broach a difficult subject.

Eli Blake said...

You know,

I hadn't yet thought of a question I was going to ask Althouse+Meade.

But after reading the comments on this board I have one:

Ann: pre-nup? Yes or No?

zedzded said...

Marriage is grand.

Divorce is a half billion.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Synova, Do you support same sex marriage? i'm curious because the points you make here precisely describe the problem with the anti-SSM argument that goes along the lines of "gay couples don't need marriage, they can just make contracts to deal with all these issues." Default rules that come with marriage are very powerful because we can't anticipate what might happen decades later when a relationship dissolves or change.

Synova said...

I do support same sex marriage.

I would also like to see a significant push-back on so many of the things that have contributed to the devaluing of marriage.

I sometimes think that it's very easy for many people to support SSM when they believe that marriage itself is worthless.

KaziA said...

If Andrew Sullivan can call himself Catholic then Mel Gibson can certainly call himself Catholic as well.

kentuckyliz said...

Some prenups are written so that if there is cheating, the noncheating partner gets > 50% of the marital assets.

So, if the Gibsons have this type of prenup, Mel would be even more screwed over by his infidelities than an equal 50-50 split. Maybe 80-20, who knows.

Hope the strange was worth it. that's some expensive poon. LOL

kentuckyliz said...

A laterlife marriage (after some asset accumulation has happened): when you marry and divorce in this situation, the spouses don't get 50% of total accumulations. Only the property accumulated during the marriage is divided 50-50.

Not like I know personally but I have some serial married friends.

Your state laws may vary.

Pogo said...

Like the cheating addendum, make sure the prenup has a proviso negating the document in case one tries to murder the other.

And deduct, say, 70% for abuse.

If one partner steals from the other, reduce it by half.

If one goes to jail for, say, robbery or murder, deduct 80%.

Pogo said...

And don't forget to add a section on acquired STDs.

That should make a fun document to sign.

Revenant said...

And don't forget to add a section on acquired STDs. That should make a fun document to sign.

People who only focus on the fun stuff when they're getting married deserve to wind up miserable and divorced later in their lives.

You're making what is probably the single most important decision of your life, people. Think about it seriously.