1:26 PM PDT, July 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend has released a new photograph that she says proves the academy award winning actor punched her in the mouth breaking her teeth.
Oksana Grigorieva says the attack happened in January after the couple had an argument at their Malibu home. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has the picture released by RadarOnline.com.
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The photo shows Grigorieva with a missing veneer and another one broken. Some experts, however, say the photo may have been doctored.
Gibson's ex-wife is coming to his defense. Robyn Gibson released a statement saying:
"Mel never engaged in any physical abuse of any kind toward me before, during or after our marriage. Mel was a wonderful and loving father."
Meantime -- audio recordings of the angry telephone conversation between Gibson and Grigorieva are in the hands of L.A. detectives investigating possible domestic violence.
The CD's were turned over during a closed court session in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, according to Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.
Grigorieva's attorneys were in court reportedly to ask a family law judge to strip the Academy Award-winning actor of custody of their 8-month-old daughter, Lucia. Several Sheriff's investigators, including detectives looking into claims of possible child abuse attended the hearing.
Grigorieva's attorneys planned to use audio tapes of Gibson's alleged rants as evidence that the actor is a danger to the child, according to TMZ.
But, Gibson's lawyers may argue that the tapes were edited, which would make them inadmissible in court. They were also present at Thursday's hearing.
The case is sealed and all proceedings have been done in closed session.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will now work to authenticate the tapes released by the court. Whitmore did not say how many recordings were included or how long they were. It's unclear if the recordings were the same ones posted by celebrity website RadarOnline.com.
In the tapes released by RadarOnline.com, Gibson allegedly threatens Grigorieva, calling her derogatory names, like "whore," among others.
"You're a f**king mentally deprived idiot. You're a f**king using whore. I own you," he's heard saying on one recording.
The celebrity site posted another excerpt in which the actor can be heard acknowledging that he allegedly hit Grigorieva, the mother of his 8-month-old daughter, Lucia. RadarOnline.com says the audio is part of an eight minute telephone argument between the couple.
A voice that is believed to be Mel Gibson is heard telling Grigorieva that she "deserved" to be hit after she chastised him for punching her in the face and breaking two of her teeth. "What kind of a man is that?" she was heard saying. "Hitting a woman when she's holding a child in her hands? Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?" "Oh, you're all angry now!" Gibson allegedly responds. "You know what, you ... (expletive) deserved it!"
In another recording Gibson allegedly berates Grigorieva for apparently falling asleep before having sex with him the prior evening.
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The L.A. County Sheriff's Department has launched an investigation into the allegations of domestic abuse made by the 40-year-old Russian singer.
Whitmore said detectives still hope to speak to Gibson, who has not yet been interviewed.
He said he would not speculate on when the case would be turned over to prosecutors, who will decide whether Gibson should face criminal charges.
"It's not going to be rushed," Whitmore said.
The two have been involved in a nasty custody dispute over their infant daughter - the subject of a confidential court case. The incident is being investigated by the same sheriff's substation that handled Gibson's 2006 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. The release states the incident occurred Jan. 6 and the investigation is in a preliminary stage.
Gibson has also come under fire for his alleged racist rants in the recordings.
"You look like a (expletive) bitch in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of (N-word), it will be your fault," Gibson is heard telling Grigorieva in one instance.
In another recording, Gibson is heard referring to a Latino maid as a "wetback."
Gibson was dropped by his agents at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment after the first recording was releaseds. The agency's Patrick Whitesell informed the actor's representatives that he would no longer be represented by the agency. Gibson's longtime agent, Ed Limato, died July 3. William Morris Endeavor partner Ari Emanuel had previously expressed hostility toward Gibson after the actor made anti-Semitic remarks and made remarks implying skepticism about the Holocaust. An agency source said the only reason the agency had represented Gibson in the first place was his association with Limato. Several studio executives have said in the wake of recent disclosures that they consider the troubled actor too untouchable in the industry.
Whoopi Goldberg reacted to the explosive audio tapes, saying her friend is not a racist. "I don't like what he did here but I know Mel, and I know he's not a racist. I have had a long friendship with Mel. You can say he's being a bonehead, but I can't sit and say that he's a racist having spent time with him in my house with my kids. I don't like what he's done. Make no mistake."
Gibson has not released a statement about the audio tapes.