Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson’s ex-girlfriend and mother of the couple’s eight-month baby, is asking Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to take all custody of young Lucia away from the actor.
Grigorieva’s lawyers are arguing in downtown L.A. Thursday morning that the audiotapes that reveal Gibson’s verbal abuse of the 40-year old singer and his threats and other vile remarks constitute a potential harm to the child.
On the recordings, Gibson, who is under investigation for spousal abuse, can clearly be heard denigrating Latinos, African-Americans, making death threats against his former girlfriend of one year. At one point the Oscar winner even seemingly justifies physically abusing Grigorieva.
"What kind of a man is that? Hitting a woman when she's holding a child in her hands?” Grigorieva says to Gibson on one tape, “Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?"
Far form denying his ex’s accusation, Gibson shouts back, "Oh, you're all angry, now? You know what, you f—ing deserved it!"
On another tape, Gibson ends a call with Grigorieva by telling her look after his daughter. When the singer, who has a teenage son with former James Bond Timothy Dalton, replies that it’s her daughter, too, Gibson response is “I know unfortunately, c— whore, I hope she doesn’t turn out like you.”
While the actor is not at the closed proceedings, Gibson’s lawyers will likely argue, based on California law, that the damning tape recordings are inadmissible in any hearing. Under California, both parties in a conversation must consent to have it recorded.
In fact, Grigorieva could have committed a crime taping the call without Gibson’s knowledge. However, in recent years, cases where there has been violence — as seems to be the case with Gibson — or where the recordings have directly aided law enforcement have allowed such recordings to be used in court.
The hearing at the Stanley Monk courthouse in downtown L.A. is closed and confidential, with media kept away from the proceedings and out of the courtroom. A person close to the case told TheWrap that officials from L.A.’s Department of Children and Family Service and the Sheriff’s department, who have been investigating the possibility of multiple charges of spousal abuse, were not even allowed into the actual courtroom.
Mel Gibson, who was dumped by William Morris Endeavor when this latest scandal started to heat up, is expected in court on July 20 for a hearing on the restraining order put against him earlier this month. However there is a possibility that Thursday’s hearing could render that proceeding, like Mel’s career, moot.
In other Gibson news, L.A. sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore has confirmed to TheWrap that the head of the investigation has been given CD recordings of Gibson’s conversations with Grigorieva. “They will be reviewed in every way, including forensically,” Whitmore said.
However, Whitmore added that the CDs “are not the central part of our investigation. No single piece is. Once all the pieces of the investigation come together, then that’s what we hand over to the District Attorney.”
Whitmore also confirmed that the sheriff’s department is talking to a lot of involved parties in the case, including family members — and soon Mel Gibson himself. “We certainly want to speak to Mr. Gibson,” said Whitmore, “but we have not spoken to him yet.”