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Lead detective in Mel Gibson case wanted Oksana Grigorieva charged with extortion

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva.

The lead detective in the Mel Gibson investigation turned up "implied threats" against the actor by his ex-girlfriend and believed that a demand by her attorneys for $20 million in exchange for damaging recordings and photos merited prosecution.

The letter from Det. Rodney Wagner of the Sheriff's Department to the prosecutor who declined to file charges alleges three separate instances of extortion in e-mails to Gibson from Oksana Grigorieva and in a March 2010 meeting in which her lawyers talked with Gibson's representatives about how disclosure of the tapes and photos would "ruin" his career.

"By discussing the potential damage to Mr. Gibson's career if the 'evidence' were to be released to the public … it was my opinion, that constituted an implied threat," Wagner wrote.

Eric George, who was Grigorieva's lead attorney in the negotiations, is the son of the state's former chief justice and a campaign fund-raiser for Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley. He hosted a $500-per-person cocktail party at his Beverly Hills home in August for Cooley's unsuccessful race for state attorney general and donated $6,500 to his campaign. He declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, Jane Robison, said Cooley had no role in determining whether to bring charges in the Gibson case and downplayed Wagner's letter as "his opinion."

"He's not an attorney. Our attorneys reviewed the case and declined to file based on the evidence and the lack of evidence," Robison said.

Full story: Investigator urged extortion charges for Gibson's ex-girlfriend.


A look at secret negotiations in Mel Gibson case as detectives wrap investigation

--Harriet Ryan

Photo: Actor Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva during the Spanish premiere of the film "Edge of Darkness" in Madrid on Feb. 1, 2010. Credit: Reuters

Comments () | Archives (8)

Conflict of interest? Woman receiving preferential treatment in a domestic case? No surprises here. Move along.

It wasn't her fault. She was scared. She didn't understand. The lawyer made her do it. He intimidated her. He was powerful.

Right now Oksana has plenty of money, joint custody, and revenge by devastating Mel's career and reputation with her tapes and numerous accusations, the latest ones over the top bizarre. Enough already.

In a civil court the level of proof required is much less. Either or both could win or lose.

The big question is who has the most to lose. I think Oksana.

Oksana pays her own lawyers for this round. Can she use Lucia's money? Problematic.

If Oksana wins all (unlikely) or part of her suit (possible), and Mel wins his (likely based on this article), she'll lose more. And she is more likely than him to lose custody as well.

This has gone much too far already. Mel's lucky he's still married, and didn't get sucked into marrying Oksana before this blew up.

Lucia, whatever happens, loses. In fact, maybe she's the biggest loser here.

It seems like such an obvious case of extortion, and they let her off the hook.
I don't get it. What were the backdoor politics? And how will this influence future cases in LA? What about the illegal taping? Oh yea, she said she didn't relaese the tapes. Yet she happily spoke to RadarOnline in the midst of them playing them one by one to the public. And her PR guy was from RadarOnline.
Come on, this was transparent extortion.

You don't need to be an attorney to recognize extortion. All you need is common sense. Evidently that is something which is sorely lacking in the D.A.'s office.

Extortion - extortion - extortion... Sorry no other way to describe what she did. And just because lawyers were involved doesn't mean it's not extortion. Look at Gloria Allred. That fame - ho has been extorting men for some time now for her own greed.

Oksana and her current extortion partner, Horowitz, might as well give up on a civil suit. Take your 20,000 a month child support (ridiculous amount), your free house, free car, free medical insurance for Lucia, and just go away. No one is interested anymore.

If Oksana wins all (unlikely) or part of her suit (possible), and Mel wins his (likely based on this article), she'll lose more. And she is more likely than him to lose custody as well.

Posted by: Nan | March 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Sorry, but I really can't see Oksana winning. Her suit is about Mel beating her black and blue, and not about the slap he claimed he gave her in custody papers. Her suit is also about getting big bucks in punitive damages for being so severely beaten she "couldn't get out of bed over the next few weeks" (never mind Radaronline pictures of her smiling and out and about with Mel at Mr Chows a day or so after the so called "beating").
Her evidence is laughable at best - calling her enlarged vein a bruise from Mel's beating. If the DA couldn't get Mel on more serious charges than simple battery (and allowing him to plead no contest on top of it), I doubt if she can get him - in spite of the fact that civil courts require a lower standard of proof - simply because the evidence is not there and whatever so called evidence there is, it is very very shaky. Oksana has totally lost all credibility with the various conflicting and ever changing accounts of her story.

Despite all their posturing, they will settle out of court. Horowitz know it is very unlikely Oksana will win and that he will get paid. I believe she is up for Mel's court costs when she loses as well. She probably will lose in the extortion case because what is not seen as a crime by lawyers (because lawyers perpetuated it) will be seen as a crime by a jury of lay people. Oksana may not get as much as she might have wanted, but it would have to be enough for her (hey people ARE actually starving in the great US of A you know).
For his part, Mel will settle to end this whole charade. He may hate having to do so, but will look mean spirited and "in bad faith" if he didn't at least try to settle with her. He is like the big kid who is bullied and bullied until he snaps and then everyone will point to say how mean he is because he is bigger and more powerful and should know better and should behave more nobly and dignified. Never mind what a scumbag his smaller, weaker tormentor is.

If Mel should settle with her, she will just be back for round three/four/five/etc in a year or two or three etc. He should NEVER settle. Take her to court and beat her publicly. THAT is the only way to get her off his back.


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