Shamed Mel Gibson has found himself in the middle of a messy custody battle, sparked by violence and a racist rant, but Robert DeNiro and Whoopi Goldberg have both come forward to offer the Irish Australian star their support.

Gibson, of Lethal Weapon and Mad Max fame, has now been dumped by his agents, William Morris and it looks like his career might be seriously affected by the emergence of a tape of his racist rant last week.

His ex-girlfriend Oskana Grigorieva is said to have recorded him yelling “You look like a f****** bitch in heat and if you get raped by a pack of n******, it will be your fault” as reported the News of the World.

Robert DeNiro in an interview with the Daily Star said that he hoped Gibson gets through his personal problems. He said “I hope he gets through all this. It’s unfortunate for him, you know.”

Whoopi Golberg has also come forward defending Gibson. On her chat show The View on Monday, she said that she does not believe him to be a racist.

She said “I don't like what he did here. But, I know Mel and I know he's not a racist” she said. “You can say he's being a bonehead but I can't sit and say that he's a racist having spent time with him in my house with my kids. I can't say it and so I really just need to say that. I don't like what he's done. Make no mistake.”

She continued “Drunks say stupid stuff to people all the time because they're drunk. They're out of control. They are not thinking they are idiotic. That's why I don't like alcohol. I can't say anything about that because I know what people are like when they're drunk.”

In 2006 Gibson’s career received its first major blow after his anti-Semitic rant to a cop. That two minute rant was also released on the Internet and it shocked the public.

His ex-girlfriend brought these recent recordings forward as evidence in a custody battle with Gibson over their child. She believed that Gibson might hurt her or her child and claims that he has in the past beaten her so severely that he smashed her teeth. There are even rumors that Gibson threaten his ex-girlfriend with a gun.

Gibson has counteracted claiming that his ex-girlfriend had tried to extort money from him by threatening to leak the recordings. His attorney is presenting a long paper trail of evidence which he believes is proof of extortion to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.