Around the same time Mel Gibson's lawyers entered a Los Angeles courtroom to fight an attempt by the actor's ex-girlfriend to strip the "Lethal Weapon" star of his custody rights to the couple's 9-month-old daughter, the latest in a disturbing series of recorded phone-call snippets was released by RadarOnline.com. (Warning: Recordings contain offensive and explicit content.)
In the fifth tape posted by the site, Gibson, 54, appears on the verge of hyperventilating as he berates ex Oksana Grigorieva over the disastrous state of his finances. "Bitch, whore, cu--, gold digger!" Gibson, a divorced father of eight, yells at Grigorieva during the fight, in which he excoriates the aspiring singer for requesting that he buy her an expensive dress and let her use his Lakers box seats.
"Because of you, I had to sell the mother----ers," he growls about seats at the Lakers arena. "I don't have any f---ing money! I have to support you and everybody else! I have to sell paintings. I have to sell my box at the Lakers game. ... I spent more than $5 million on you! ... Say thank you now!"
The actor — whose ex-wife of 27 years, Robyn, reportedly walked away with more than $400 million in their 2009 divorce because they had no prenuptial agreement — was once one of the highest-paid, most successful actors in Hollywood and is alleged to have made a fortune on the self-financed film "The Passion of the Christ," which grossed more than $610 million globally. At one point before the divorce, his net worth was reported to be between $500 million and $900 million.
But on the nearly four-minute tape, he repeatedly pleads poverty, complaining of all the mouths he has to feed. The $5 million he claims to have spent on Grigorieva appears to be a reference to his help in launching her music career.
"F---in' user! You f---in' used me! I will never forgive you!" he screams, before breaking out in uncontrolled heavy breathing for several seconds. Grigorieva has claimed that Gibson punched her in the face and broke two of her teeth in an assault in January that is now the subject of a domestic-violence investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She repeatedly fires back that she did not ask Gibson to spend money on her, at one point telling her longtime lover that he is "very mean."
"Yeah, you know what mean is now, don't you?" he responds. "So don't call me mean when I'm nice to you. Because I'd like to show you what mean really is. Bitch, cu--, whore, gold digger! All true! You f---ing proved it to me! ... Look at yourself. And look what you've done. Look what you've f---ing done! Look at your son. He's a f---ing mess. You f---ing excuse for a mother. You're a f---ing bitch!"
Exasperated, Grigorieva simply says, "You're the worst father I ever met. Goodbye."
Radar Online has also reported that Gibson had a handgun during the alleged assault and waved it in Grigorieva's face after striking her. The site claimed that as she tried to leave Gibson's house, he put the weapon near her face and said, "I will show you how to get out of here fast," which Grigorieva believed was a threat on her life, one of several Gibson is alleged to have made.
Gibson's spokesperson has offered a "no comment" on the tapes — though he has not denied that the voice heard on them is Gibson — and the actor has not yet made any public statement about their contents. An audio expert who has worked for the FBI and CIA told the "Today" show Thursday (July 15) that the tapes are legitimate.
The clips were expected to take center stage Thursday during the custody hearings, with Gibson's lawyers reportedly aiming to prove that they had been doctored and edited, which would make them inadmissible in court; Grigorieva's attorneys have reportedly denied those claims.