Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Mel Gibson domestic violence investigation began with formal complaint from former girlfriend

July 9, 2010 |  8:20 am
More information is emerging about the domestic violence investigation involving actor Mel Gibson.

The current probe officially began with a Monday interview of “an alleged victim” that is now confirmed as Oksana Grigorieva, 40, the Russian model/pianist who in October gave birth to the couple’s first child. (Gibson has seven children with ex-wife Robyn Moore.) Gibson and Grigorieva have been battling in court over custody of their daughter.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was informally aware of rumors and reports about an incident “but we don’t do anything until it’s brought to our attention in a formal way,” said department spokesman Steve Whitmore. “On Monday, she made allegations and they were specific.”

Whitmore said he could not release details because the investigation was ongoing and could take up to a month. Detectives, he said, wanted to conduct additional interviews, including some with people who are out of town. The department departed from its policy against identifying alleged domestic violence victims because of the public nature of the allegations, Whitmore said.

Internet chatter has raged about an alleged Jan. 6 incident at Gibson’s Malibu home involving the now-uncoupled pair. RadarOnline.com reported this week that it had “exclusively” obtained tapes recorded by Grigorieva in which Gibson allegedly is heard saying that his then-girlfriend “deserved it” after he hit her in the face twice while she held their daughter Lucia.

Attempts to reach Gibson’s spokesman on Thursday were not successful.

That same incident already has led to embarrassment for Gibson, 54. In the first purported revelation from that tape, Gibson is reportedly heard using a derogatory term for African Americans, which has resulted in condemnations of the actor.

In 2006, when stopped for drunk driving, Gibson unleashed a profanity-laced tirade that included insulting references to Jews, according to authorities.

Gibson later apologized for his actions, and a court expunged the actor’s conviction after he fulfilled probation terms that included attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, appearing in public-service announcements and paying $1,300 in fines.

Gibson’s career has seemed on an upswing, with the recent release of the thriller “Edge of Darkness” and the announcement of a Viking-themed movie project with Leonardo DiCaprio.

But Grigorieva hinted at trouble ahead in a recent Moscow news conference when she declined to give a reason for the couple’s breakup. “You will find out everything quite soon,” she said.

-- Howard Blume