One of the most perplexing aspects of the Mel Gibson tape leaks may have been solved. In addition to wondering what could have gotten the Oscar-winning actor so enraged that he allegedly threatened the life of his ex-girlfriend and struck her while she was holding the couple's infant daughter, is the question of who provided the profane recordings to gossip site RadarOnline.com.
Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "several sources" have claimed that Natalie Grigorieva — the younger sister of Gibson's ex, Oksana Grigorieva — is suspected of having sold the tapes to the site. An editor at Radar told Sirius/XM host Howard Stern last week that it was not Oksana who provided the tapes — which are full of racist and sexist language and threats of violence from a person identified as the Oscar-winning actor — but declined to reveal who the source was.
The Reporter said authorities are investigating Natalie's alleged tie to the leak. "I suspect that if the authorities look at the sister, they'll find a wire transfer or a check to her from the website," an unnamed source close to the case said. "She and Oksana are very close." A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department could not be reached to verify the report at press time.
Another unnamed source claimed Natalie was involved in trying to shop the audio tapes to a number of media outlets before finally making the sale to Radar. "All the tabloids said no to the deal because they were asked to purchase the audio tapes [before] hearing them," another unidentified source said.
According to the Reporter, if Natalie brokered the deal for the tapes' sale on behalf of her sister, it's possible Oksana could be found in contempt of court. It is illegal in California for one party to record a phone conversation without informing the other party, except if it is in connection with a felony. Grigorieva has claimed Gibson physically attacked her and broke two of her teeth while she was holding their then-2-month-old daughter during an altercation in January; Gibson's spokespeople have denied the accusation.
Gibson, however, is being investigated as part of a domestic-violence probe, which is going on in the midst of another investigation of Grigorieva on possible extortion charges over claims from Gibson's camp that texts and e-mails she sent the actor indicate she was recording him because, she wrote, "You broke your agreement with me." On Thursday, Grigorieva claimed she balked at a proposed $15 million custody agreement because it gave Gibson unsupervised visits with their child.
In a custody hearing, Grigorieva's lawyer claimed she turned down the agreement because she felt "coerced" and because she got bad advice from retired judges overseeing the mediation process.