EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity publicist investigated in Gibson case

4:00 AM PST 08/12/2010 by Allison Hope Weiner, AP

Howard Bragman worked briefly with Oksana Grigorieva

Investigators in the Mel Gibson domestic-violence probe want to question celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, who briefly was hired by Oksana Grigorieva.

Sources tell THR that authorities are interested in questioning Bragman about where Grigorieva got the funds to pay him and whether those funds might have come from the sale of the secret audio recordings she made of telephone conversations with Gibson.

They also want to know if Grigorieva told Bragman anything about Gibson's alleged abuse of her or their baby.

Bragman declined comment on the matter as did Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Gibson's spokesperson also had no comment.

Bragman is known for managing the coming-out of such gay stars as Chely Wright, Meredith Baxter and Chaz Bono.

The sheriff's department has confirmed that it is investigating Grigorieva's abuse allegations and whether she used the audio recordings to extort money from Gibson. Days after a judge ordered the recordings sealed, they turned up on the RadarOnline.com.

As THR reported, authorities are looking into whether Grigorieva's sister sold the audio recordings to Radar Online. If there is evidence that Grigorieva was involved in the sale of the audio recordings or any other sealed evidence in the dispute, she could be found to be in violation of a court order.
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