July 22, 2010 — -- To get through his latest batch of bad times, Mel Gibson may be seeking comfort from an unlikely source:
According to In Touch Weekly, the 28-year-old pop singer has been counseling the 54-year-old Academy Award winner as his custody battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva grows ever more ugly.
"Mel has been talking to her a lot," In Touch quoted a friend of Spears as saying. "They speak on the phone all the time, usually late at night."
Gibson came to Spears' side during her 2008 breakdown, taking her to dinner and reportedly flying her to his estate in Costa Rica. Now she apparently wants to return the favor.
"Mel was one of the only people who reached out to help Britney when she was at her lowest point, and she believes that demonstrates what a loving and wonderful man he is," In Touch quoted the friend saying. "She wants people to give him a second chance -- just like he gave her one when everyone else turned away."
Gibson's publicist declined to comment on the report. A representative for Spears did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment.
Meanwhile, things may be looking up for Gibson. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday that it's looking into whether Grigorieva may have tried to extort money from the actor in connection with audio recordings of their arguments leaked online and her allegations of domestic abuse.
Detectives obtained the recordings in a closed-door family court session last week. Gibson and Grigorieva are currently battling for custody of their 8-month-old daughter, Lucia.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gibson's attorneys may also use text messages and e-mails to make the case that Grigorieva tried to extort money from the actor. Citing a source familiar with the case, The Hollywood Reporter said that Grigorieva sent a text to Gibson earlier this month explaining why she recorded their conversations: "You broke your agreement with me."
More Gibson-Grigorieva Tapes Leak
Yet another tape leaked online Tuesday. In it, Grigorieva accuses Gibson of hitting her and Lucia, who she was holding in her arms.
In response to Grigorieva's allegations that he hit her and that he is mentally unbalanced, a man, presumably Gibson, replies, "No one will believe you."
"You hit me, and you hit her while she was in my hands! Mel, you're losing your mind. You need medication," Grigorieva tells him in the new excerpt.
When the man claims that she has used him for money, Grigorieva maintains that she signed a document giving up her claim to his fortune.
As in one of the earlier tapes, the man presumed to be Gibson tells her she will be raped because of her promiscuous appearance.
"If you get raped it's your fault, for starters," the man says. "Showing off your fake t**s! Like they're some special deal? How much did they cost, those fakers?"
The Associated Press and Reuters news service contributed to this report.