(LifeSiteNews) — Renowned Catholic filmmaker Mel Gibson provided “valuable intelligence” about an international pedophile ring, but he is not involved in producing a four-part documentary series about a sex trafficking mission in Ukraine, according to a report.
Amid recent speculation that Gibson was producing the series about a child sex trafficking rescue mission in Ukraine, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) founder Tim Ballard issued a statement dissolving those rumors but confirming that Gibson provided crucial information about the children who were saved in the 2022 operation.
A video from January 2023 of Ballard sharing the story of the Ukraine mission has been circulating on social media, leading to false reports that the documentary designed to expose the reality of international pedophile rings was being produced by Gibson. However, Ballard never said that this was the case, a point he reiterated in a June 8 statement.
“I stand by every word I said in the video circulating around social media,” Ballard said. “Mel is a personal hero of mine and called me back in 2022 with valuable intelligence regarding children who were rumored to be vulnerable to human traffickers in Ukraine.”
“Using that intelligence, we went to Ukraine, where Operation Underground Railroad, Aerial Recovery Group, and The Nazarene Fund were successful in beginning the process of dismantling a dangerous international pedophile ring.”
“Mel deserves all the credit for taking the initiative to further the critical work that we do,” Ballard continued in the statement. “I am personally grateful for his support as we worked on this documentary. However, reports [that] this four-part series is actually being produced by Mr. Gibson are not accurate. It’s being produced by Nick Nanton of DNA Films and includes several executive producers such as Kyle Cease, Tony and Sage Robbins, and other wonderful and talented people.”
In the circulating video, Ballard described the Ukraine mission as “probably the most significant rescue operation I’ve ever been a part of” and explained that Gibson called him, saying “he supports a bunch of orphans in Ukraine and he was worried about them and he asked if I could help get them out.”
Ballard related how he asked Gibson to “help me film this … so we can get people to understand, and they can support us,” to which The Passion of the Christ director agreed. The end result is a not yet released documentary series titled The Hidden War.
The issue of child sex trafficking has become a popular topic of discussion in recent months ahead of the highly anticipated film Sound of Freedom. The movie is based on the life and work of Ballard, who worked as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent for 12 years and founded OUR in 2013 as an independent organization devoted to eliminating human trafficking across the globe.
The film is set to be released across the United States on July 4.