Mel Gibson Asks for and Gets New Divorce Judge

Saying he believes the original was prejudiced against him, actor files to replace the judge in his divorce proceedings

By Natalie Finn Apr 19, 2009 4:31 AMTags
Mel GibsonStephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Mel Gibson had a sinking suspicion that his original divorce-court judge wasn't a big Lethal Weapon fan. Or something like that.

Arguing that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rafael Ongkeko was "prejudiced against Respondent and/or the Respondent's attorney or the interest of Respondent," the actor's legal camp filed a motion yesterday asking that Ongkeko be replaced with another judge.

Fair enough. On Friday, the case was reassigned to Judge Frederick Shaller for all further intents and purposes.

Gibson's paperwork didn't go into detail but stated his belief that he and/or his attorneys "cannot have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before Judge Ongkeko."

Robyn Gibson, the Oscar winner's wife of nearly 29 years, filed for divorce Monday, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Gibson's counterfiling listed their date of separation as Aug. 26, 2006, about a month after he was nabbed for driving under the influence and unofficially busted for making some rather controversial comments.

(Originally published April 17, 2009, at 5:10 p.m. PT)

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