Mel Gibson is to become a father again for the ninth time - aged 60.

The Lethal Weapon star and his girlfriend Rosalind Ross, 26, are expecting a baby early next year, the star's rep confirmed according to People.

Gibson already has eight children: seven with his ex-wife Robin and one more with Oksana Grigorieva.

Gibson and Rosalind, a champion equestrian vaulter, have been dating for two years and this will be her first baby.

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"Mel and Rose are so excited about the baby," a friend close to the couple told People.

"Mel loves being a dad and he and Rose can't wait to be parents together. The last two years have been some of his happiest years he's ever had."

Things are looking up for the embattled star.

His film Hacksaw Ridge received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival this month and is generating Oscars buzz. Even if Gibson is ignored because of his past behaviour Indie Wire reports, others involved in the project may be rewarded.