Detectives get recordings in Gibson custody case
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Detectives investigating Mel Gibson on a possible domestic violence case have received audio recordings from a court handling a child custody matter, authorities said Thursday.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said CDs were turned over during a closed session in a custody case involving Gibson and his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.
The Russian singer has reported that the actor-director hurt her during an argument in January.
Thursday’s hearing was attended by several sheriff’s investigators, including detectives who look into possible child abuse.
Whitmore declined to say whether the investigation into Gibson had expanded. “I’m not going to get into why they’re there,” he said of the detectives from the Special Victims Bureau.
He said investigators would try to authenticate the recordings, but declined to say how much audio was received from the court.
Gibson and Grigorieva, 40, are locked in a bitter custody dispute over their 8-month-old daughter. Neither one appeared in court for a daylong session on Thursday. The hearing was attended by numerous attorneys, including Gibson’s criminal lawyers, Blair Berk and Jim Asperger.
Attorneys for both sides declined comment after the hearing ended around 4:30 p.m.
Gibson, 54, did get some support from his estranged wife, Robyn, who filed a brief declaration stating that the actor-director had never physically abused her or her children. Mel and Robyn Gibson have seven children together, only one of whom is younger than 18 years old.
Like all documents in the custody dispute, Robyn Gibson’s declaration is sealed. A source familiar with the case who was not authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press that Gibson’s estranged wife filed the declaration so that people didn’t wonder about his conduct during their 28-year marriage.
“She really wanted to set the record straight and protect her family,” the source said.
Robyn Gibson filed for divorce in April 2009. The case is ongoing.
Mel Gibson and Grigorieva have been locked in a custody dispute over their infant daughter for several weeks. The former couple reached a confidential custody agreement earlier this year after they broke up, but the matter is now being decided by a family law judge.
It is unclear whether the recordings received by detectives include those that have been posted by the celebrity website RadarOnline.com since Friday. The site has posted more than 20 minutes of recordings of arguments between a man who sounds distinctly like Gibson and a woman identified by the site as Grigorieva.
In the profanity-laced clips, the man is heard using two racial slurs and several derogatory terms for women.
Whitmore said detectives still hope to speak to Gibson, who has not yet been interviewed.
He declined to discuss 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.