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For Mel Gibson, Oksana Grigorieva must have been the biggest mistake of his life--even surpassing the anti-semitic remarks that first wreaked havoc on his Hollywood career. Backed by recordings, Oksana publically alleged that she was assaulted by Mel Gibson; extortion allegations were his main response.
After the Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva relationship blew up in the press, Mel's lawyers alleged that she had tried to extort millions of dollars from the washed up actor.
Over the past six months, the Los Angeles Police Department has investigated the allegations against Oksana Grigorieva. Extortion evidence was sought via lawyer notes, text messages, e-mails and computer logs. On Wednesday, the police department handed their findings over to the prosecutor, who must now decide whether to charge her and try the Mel Gibson extortion case.
While the prosecutor decides, information on what really happened has been released.
According to seized evidence, as sifted through by the Los Angeles Times, 11 months ago, Gibson told Oksana that she should hire a lawyer, as he was going to add their daughter to his estate plan. Oksana showed up at her lawyer's office with the infamous broken teeth photo and the accompanying scandalous recordings. She and her attorney decided on a plan.
The ex-couples' legal teams then convened. Eventually, Oksana's lawyer played snippets of the tapes, requesting $20 million, according to the paper. Eventually negotiations broke down, the Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva dispute ended up in mediation, she reneged on a settlement, and then released the hounds. Public drama ensued.
Prosecutors are going to have to decide whether the request for $20 million was extortion or not. Extortion usually includes gaining property by threatening to do harm to the person's reputation.
Oksana requested $10 million for herself and $10 million for her daughter, agreeing to keep the tapes quiet if provided. This indicates that the tapes were not intended as a threat, but were part of a hardball negotiation strategy, which is not illegal. However, the tapes were completely unrelated to the act of adding their daughter to Mel's estate plan, which may make the prosecutor question why Oksana brought them to her lawyer if not for threatening purposes.
No one knows what the prosecutor is going to do, as there is a fine line between negotiation and extortion. But it might be wise to keep in mind that Mel Gibson is also currently being investigated on charges of domestic abuse.
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