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Mel Gibson tapes obtained by L.A. County sheriff's detectives

July 15, 2010 |  3:05 pm

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Thursday obtained audio tapes of Mel Gibson as detectives continue to pursue allegations of domestic violence made by the actor's ex-girlfriend.

The detectives obtained the tapes during a closed-door hearing in a child custody case between Gibson and the ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.

There has been some debate about whether the recordings would be admissible even if a domestic violence case were to go to criminal court.

Of the audio clips released by Radar Online, the most damaging in a criminal case likely would be an exchange in which Gibson apparently tells Grigorieva that she "deserved" to be hit.

But the volatile conversation, in which Gibson also uses derogatory terms for women, Latinos and African Americans, seems to have been recorded without the "Lethal Weapon" star's permission.

Legal experts say that is where the recording’s admissibility becomes murky. In California, both parties must consent to have a phone conversation recorded. Under normal circumstances, legal experts said, that would make the Gibson tapes unusable in court, and their recording potentially a crime.

-- Robert Faturechi