In his upcoming biography of Jesus, "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven will make the shocking claim that Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee.
An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September.
It will be translated into English in 2009, Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said. Verhoeven hopes it will be a springboard for him to raise interest in making a film along the same lines, she said.
The 69-year-old director, who also directed "Showgirls" — starring Elizabeth Berkley in one of the most panned films of the '90s — and sci-fi action hits like "Total Recall" and "RoboCop," as well as the sci-fi bust "Starship Troopers," claims he and co-biographer Rob van Scheers have written the most realistic portrayal of Jesus ever published.
In addition to suggesting that the Virgin Mary may have been a rape victim, the book will also say that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 original apostles of Jesus, as the New Testament states.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue called Verhoeven's claim about Mary "laughable."
"Here we go again with idle speculation grounded in absolutely nothing," Donohue told FOXNews.com. "He has no empirical evidence to support his claim, which is why they say 'may have.'"
Donohue also mocked the fact that Verhoeven — best known for directing the famous Sharon Stone crotch scene in "Basic Instinct" — reportedly worked on the book for 20 years, only to come up with a "probably."
"He's been working 20 years trying to sell this argument and hasn't come up with anything," Donohue said. "This won't make a dent with Christians, nor with scholars somewhat wary of the biblical account.
"It's a European version of Hollywood. He should go back to Sharon Stone's legs."
Kirk Bingaman, director of the pastoral counseling program at Fordham University's Graduate School of Religion, said the idea that Mary was raped and that the rapist was Jesus' father is not new.
"The idea goes back to ancient sources from the 1st or 2nd century; I personally don’t put a lot of stock in it. How would we ever know? We don’t have any empirical proof. I subscribe to the Apostles' Creed that Jesus was conceived of the Virgin Mary," he said.
Over the years, Verhoeven, who is Catholic and holds a doctorate in mathematics and physics from the University of Leiden, was a regular attendee of the Jesus Seminar, which was co-founded by the late religion scholar Robert W. Funk. The seminar called into question miracles and statements attributed to Jesus.
"The Jesus Seminar was big in the '80s and somewhat in the '90s," Donohue said. "They have been very controversial in challenging the accepted biblical account of Jesus. The goal is to question the divinity of Christ — to say he was nothing but a happy carpenter who worked at Lowe's or Home Depot."
Calls to Verhoeven's representatives were not immediately returned.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.