Movie director Mel Gibson has issued a statement apologizing for his "out of control" behaviour and remarks made while being arrested in California under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Gibson admitted on Saturday that he "acted like a person completely out of control" when he was arrested early Friday on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and "said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable."

"After drinking alcohol on Thursday night, I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed. I drove a car when I should not have, and was stopped by the L.A. County sheriffs … I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry. I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse."

The 50-year-old actor, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, went on to say he was taking "necessary steps to ensure my return to health."

Gibson was once arrested for drunken driving in 1984 in Toronto. He also told ABC News in 1991 that hehad beenso addicted at one point that he considered jumping out a window.

Sheriff's deputies stopped Gibson for speeding at about 2:30 a.m. local time Friday in California as he was driving his Lexus LS 430. Police said Gibson was going 87 mph (140 km/h) in a 45 mph (72 km/h) zone.

A breath test showedtheactor'sblood-alcohol level at 0.12 per cent. The legal limit in the state is 0.08. The actor posted $5,000 US bail and was let go at 9:45 a.m. local time.

'I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person.' — Mel Gibson

The actor's statement did not divulge details of the "despicable" remarks he confesses to have made and his publicist, Alan Nierob, has also refused to make comment. Some reports in U.S. media on Sundaysuggested the remarks were anti-Semitic in nature.

"The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person," said Gibson in his statement.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said detectives would begin their investigation Monday.

As well, the sheriff's civilian oversight section will examine whether authorities gave the director preferential treatment and whether they tried to cover up his behaviour.

"There is no cover-up. Our job is not to [focus] on what he said. It's to establish his blood-alcohol level when he was driving," said Sheriff Lee Baca.

Gibson's star rose with the Australian movie Mad Max and arrived on the Hollywood scene by scoring big hits with the Lethal Weapon movies. In 1995, he acted and directed Braveheart, which earned him a best directing Oscar and best picture of the year.

His 2004 blockbuster The Passion of the Christ went on to gross more than $600 million US worldwide.

Gibson began developing a four-hour miniseries on the Holocaust for ABC late last year, but there's no word yet on the status of the series.

His latest directorial effort, the Mayan epic adventure Apocalypto, is expected to be released in December.

With files from the Associated Press