Did Someone Mess With Mel Gibson's Audio Recordings?
Forensic Experts Say Mel Gibson's Rants May Have Been Edited and Pieced Together
By SHEILA MARIKAR and LUCHINA FISHER
July 15, 2010
Every day this week has come with a new, expletive-laced rant from Mel Gibson.
In the latest recording released by RadarOnline, he berates ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of their 8-month-old child, for not giving him oral sex and screams that he'll burn their house down.
"You're dishonest and you're f **ked up!," he growled. "So you stay the f **k away from me! Take care of your f **king son and I better have my daughter!"
But is it possible his rants aren't qutie what they seem?
Grigorieva denied she released the tapes. Now some question their integrity. Forensic audio and video experts examined the recordings for HollywoodLife.com and believe someone tampered with them, editing the audio, removing parts of conversation and piecing together phrases to make the recordings sound real.
"One of the things that you have to know is that nobody at this point can authenticate it's Mel's voice -- not 100 percent," Bonnie Fuller, editor of HollywoodLife.com, said on "Good Morning America" today. "There are words that are edited out, there are spaces, there are gaps."
"I believe these are professionally done. I think she had help," said forensic audio expert Arlo West. "She clearly was speaking into what we call a large diaphragm microphone. Her voice is very well engineered. She sounds great."
Now, copies of the recordings are in the hands of detectives investigating whether Gibson abused Grigorieva, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore. He told The Associated Press that detectives are working to authenticate the recordings for a possible criminal case.
Representatives for Gibson have yet to comment on the tapes. But in the court of public opinion, they've done their damage. It's unlikely Gibson will be able to win custody of 8-month-old Lucia in their wake.
"As a lawyer, if Mr. Gibson were my client, I would tell him to back off from the custody fight right now," said Debra Opri, a family law attorney based in California. "Don't even fight it, because that judge can take hold of your life and say, 'You're going to rehab, you're going to get anger management treatment, you're going to do all these things because the child's life is in danger.' He should really remove himself from the arena and say she can have 100 percent custody."
Mel Gibson Tapes May Not Make It Into Court
Different rules apply in the criminal sphere. Opri speculated that because of the media glare on the case, police will press domestic violence charges against Gibson. But because California is a two-party state -- the law requires that both parties consent to the recording of a conversation -- it's unlikely Grigorieva's recorded phone calls will appear in court.
"In a criminal investigation, there is no way those tapes are ever going to get into evidence," she said.