Mel Gibson's Ex, Oksana Grigorieva, Says on 'Larry King Live' That She Feared for Her Life

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Oksana Grigorieva told CNN's Larry King this evening that she recorded her ex-boyfriend, Mel Gibson, berating her - not to extort the actor, but because she feared for her life.

"I started taping it around 11 o'clock because I thought, 'I'm actually not going to live through the night," she said on "Larry King Live." "I wanted my mother to be able to prove that if I'm dead that this is who did it."

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She told King that Gibson called her 30 to 40 times in one night, and that she recorded about eight of those calls.

The interview originally was to be broadcast next Monday which, reported, "not-so-coincidentally happens to be the same day Grigorieva was supposed to be grilled on the stand in her custody case with Mel Gibson."

Grigorieva, 40, and Gibson have a daughter, Lucia, born a little more than a year ago.

Grigorieva has alleged, according to, that last January, at his mansion in Malibu, Gibson "punched out two of her front teeth, leaving her bloodied, bruised and with a concussion."

"I forgave him in a couple of weeks' time after the first severe beating that he struck me twice with his fist." Grigorieva told Larry King. "And then he was choking me and whilst I was holding Lucia and not protecting myself."

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Girgorieva told King throughout the interview that Gibson did not drink around her -- "no liquor, not once."

Grigorieva said last July that Gibson was "trivializing domestic violence." In a video interview with, she said, "It is unfair that by standing up to somebody -- and speaking out -- I am being victimized all over again."

Grigorieva now is taking another opportunity to speak out. The interview on "Larry King Live" is her first major television interview about her domestic violence accusations against Gibson.

In a court document available on, Gibson attested that on that January evening he had asked Grigorieva to leave his house as an argument became increasingly heated.

"Suddenly, Oksana stormed in to [sic] the room where Lucia was, grabbed her out of her bassinet and yelled at me 'stop yelling or you will make her into a retarded brain damaged idiot!'" Gibson says in the document.

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Gibson claims that Grigorieva "held Lucia between us, literally placing our two-month baby in the middle of our argument."

The argument escalated, says Gibson.

Claiming he was "increasingly afraid for Lucia's safety, I slapped Oksana one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality."

In the document, Gibson says, "I did not slap her hard, I was just trying to shock her so that she would stop screaming, continuing shaking Lucia back and forth."

Oksana Grigorieva and Mel Gibson.

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Gibson writes he did not hit her "with a closed fist, as she alleges. I did not ever punch her in the face or in the temple or anywhere else, not then or at any other time."

While Gibson concedes in the document that he doesn't "believe that I handled the situation as well as I should have, I was worried about the rough way Oksana was shaking and tossing Lucia around, concerned about injury to out then two-month old daughter."

But in the midst of both custody issues and accusations, the question remains whether the law supports Grigorieva's right to speak about the alleged physical abuse.

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According to, Oksana did the interview -- one of her lawyers, Martin Garbus, was also present -- even though Judge Scott Gordon had told her "that if she did media, she might pay when it comes to awarding custody ... this according to Oksana's team."

However, according to TMZ, sources connected with the case told the website that Grigorieva did the interview because "she feels she's been silent too long and feels bad for other battered women if she stays silent."

TMZ had reported that it had learned, through sources, that Grigorieva is wroking with Peace Over Violence, an organization based in Los Angeles whose focus is prevention of youth violence and child abuse. Peace Over Violence confirmed to ABC News that there is no connection between Grigorieva and the organization.

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TMZ had also published a headline that implied that the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, an organization based in Sacramento, had pursued Grigorieva to act as an agency spokesperson. In a press release issued on Tuesday, CPEDV stated that Grigorieva does not work for the organization in any capacity. The release confirmed that Grigorieva "was never asked to play an official role for CPEDV. Furthermore, CPEDV is not in a position to validate any of her claims."

"I would not have advised a client whose circumstances were similar to Ms. Grigorieva's to do an interview with Larry King – or any interviews – because of the timing," said victims' rights attorney Gloria Allred.

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Allred said there are too many legal issues pending – a criminal investigation to find out whether she has been the victim of domestic violence and whether Grigorieva should be prosecuted for extortion. With respect to custody, Allred said, Grigorieva is seeking to restrict Gibson's overnight visitation rights.

Allred said that in her experience judges overseeing custody cases won't necessarily issue a gag order. "However, what you say in public can have an effect on the custody outcome," she said. Ordinarily judges don't like it when one parent makes derogatory comments about the other."

But not going public now doesn't mean not ever speaking about these issues.

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"If Ms. Grigorieva wants to speak out on behalf of other battered women, it would be better to wait for a time when there's more benefit and less risk," said Allred, who acknowledges that a lot of celebrity victims want to help causes. "The time to speak, if at all, would be after the criminal and custody matters are resolved."

Meg Groff, a family-law attorney in private practice who specializes in domestic violence in Doylestown, Pa., is in favor of victims of domestic violence not keeping this type of secret.

In this case – as she noted the level of "out-of-control hatred" audible in Gibson's phone calls to Grigorieva – Groff said she would have advised Grigorieva to go public with an interview. "It's an opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront," she said. She added that, with respect to Gibson's choice of words, "slap is euphemistic for hitting, and it's a way of minimizing the injury."

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