Mel Gibson isn't an anti-Semite, his long-time pal Terry Hayes insists.

The screenwriter, who worked on 'Mad Max' and wrote 'Payback' for the Hollywood star, has defended his friend who famously fell from grace in 2006 when he went on a foul-mouthed diatribe after being stopped for drink-driving by a police officer.

Terry told The Times newspaper: ''We all have to take responsibility for what we say and do. All I can say is, in over 30 years of knowing Mel, I've never heard him say anything anti-Semitic. But the human organism is not adapted to celebrity...''

Terry's first ever novel 'I Am Pilgrim' has just been purchased for a movie adaptation my MGM and he hopes to follow in the footsteps of 'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling, whose novels have turned into a worldwide conglomerate including a theme park and a successful website, Pottermore.

He explained: ''I have nothing but praise for J.K. Rowling. Her contribution - apart from the books themselves, obviously - is showing writers how to interact with the 21st Century. When her website launched and she got flak, as if writers shouldn't have a commercial bone in their bodies, I took my hat off to her. things like Pottermore and the theme park feed back into the novels so that a whole new generation will read them.''