Secret Mel Gibson text message may prove extortion

Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:47pm EDT
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By Allison Hope Weiner

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After the disturbing Mel Gibson audio tapes became public earlier this month, Oksana Grigorieva sent a text to the actor explaining why she'd surreptitiously recorded their conversations, the Hollywood Reporter has learned.

According to a source familiar with the case, Grigorieva writes in the text that the reason she recorded him was because "you broke your agreement with me."

The source says additional emails will likely be used by Gibson's attorneys to prove that Grigorieva attempted to use the audio tapes to extort money from Gibson. The source adds that Grigorieva was also upset about the breakup and was looking to reconcile.

The Los Angeles County sheriff's department on Wednesday confirmed it is investigating Grigorieva.

Based on sealed court documents reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, it also appears that Grigorieva's family law attorney, Manley Freid, hasn't been helping her cause.

At a June 22 court hearing, the judge sharply criticized Freid for obtaining a temporary restraining order the day before for his client, specifically noting Grigorieva's failure to tell the court about a previous $15 million settlement agreement between herself and Gibson.

"(Her lawyer) did something truly remarkable," notes a source close to the case. "He did not disclose to the court that there was a settlement agreement between Oksana and Mel."

"Manley Freid's strategy accomplished nothing," says a source close to the case. "It's all out there now. They pressed the nuclear button and Gibson is still basically standing. There's zero upside for Grigorieva in terms of money, custody and visitation."   Continued...

<p>Actor Mel Gibson poses during the Spanish premiere of the film "Edge of Darkness" in Madrid February 1, 2010. REUTERS/Juan Medina</p>