Los Angeles Sheriff's Department officials confirmed on Thursday that they have opened a domestic violence investigation involving actor Mel Gibson and his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of the former couple's newborn daughter.
The Los Angeles Times reported that no details about the investigation were available at press time, but that Sheriff's Department officials said in a statement that they are "currently gathering information regarding the allegations. Due to the investigation being preliminary in nature, no other information is available at this time."
Gibson, 54, and Grigorieva, 40, have been in court fighting over custody of the 8-month-old child. The actor's representative said in an e-mail to the paper that he had not yet confirmed the report's accuracy due to "legal matters."
According to The Associated Press, the disclosure of the investigation came after detectives interviewed Grigorieva about an alleged attack at an undisclosed location in Malibu earlier this year. A Sheriff's spokesperson said Grigorieva — who began dating Gibson soon after the actor's wife of 27 years filed for divorce last April — is the only person who has been interviewed in the case so far.
The alleged attack on Grigorieva took place on January 6; it could be a month before the inquiry is wrapped up and the district attorney's office decides whether to press charges. The case is being handled by the same sheriff's substation that arrested Gibson in 2006 on suspicion of drunk driving. The actor later publicly apologized to the arresting officers in that case for using anti-Semitic and sexist remarks against them during his arrest.
TMZ recently reported that Gibson's lawyer says Grigorieva invented the claims that the actor punched her in the face twice in January, knocking out her teeth and giving her a concussion, because she was having second thoughts about the confidential custody agreement the couple had signed. The report came just days after Grigorieva went to court to get a restraining order against Gibson prohibiting him from getting near her and the child; Gibson went to court a short time later and reportedly got the court to modify the order and allow him to see the child.
Gibson was condemned by the NAACP last week after reports emerged that Grigorieva had taped a 30-minute rant by the actor in which he hurled racist and sexist epithets against her in a fit of rage.
RadarOnline revealed that Gibson used the N-word and other expletives during a profanity-laced argument with his ex, and while the "Passion of the Christ" director's spokesperson did not deny that the speaker in the taped outburst was his client, the onetime box-office giant has not commented on the recording to date.
During one segment of the tape, Gibson allegedly says, "I am going to come and burn the f---ing house down ... but you will b--- me first." And in another, he reportedly tells her that she looks like a "f---ing pig in heat" who risked getting "raped by a pack of n-----s," as their baby screams in the background. Radar reported this week that another tape exists in which Gibson makes derogatory remarks using an anti-Hispanic slur.
Gibson's spokesperson could not be reached for comment at press time.