Secret Mel Gibson text message may prove extortion

12:39 PM PST 07/21/2010 by Allison Hope Weiner, AP

THR exclusively reveals the sealed court transcript and Oksana Grigorieva's text: "You broke your agreement with me"

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that after the disturbing Mel Gibson audiotapes became public this month, Oksana Grigorieva wrote Gibson a text message explaining why she had surreptitiously recorded their conversations.

According to a source familiar with the case, Grigorieva wrote that the reason she recorded him was because "you broke your agreement with me."

The source said there are additional e-mails that likely will be used by Gibson's attorneys to prove that Grigorieva attempted to use the tapes to extort money from Gibson. The source added that Gibson's ex-girlfriend also was upset about the breakup and looking to reconcile.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday confirmed they are investigating Grigorieva.

Based on sealed court documents reviewed by THR, it also appears that Grigorieva's family law attorney, Manley Freid, hasn't been helping her cause.

During a June 22 court hearing, the judge sharply criticized Freid's conduct in obtaining a temporary restraining order the day before for his client, specifically noting Grigorieva's failure to tell the court about a previous $15 million settlement agreement between herself and Gibson.

Her lawyer "did something truly remarkable," a source close to the case said. "He did not disclose to the court that there was a settlement agreement between Oksana and Mel."

"Manley Freid's strategy accomplished nothing," a source said. "It's all out there now. They pressed the nuclear button and Gibson is still basically standing. There's zero upside for Grigorieva in terms of money, custody and visitation."

In other words, her whole strategy may have backfired.

Steve Jaffe, a spokesman for Grigorieva, had no comment.

Gibson's rep had no comment; his attorney could not be reached.

The actual transcript from the June 22 court proceedings, reviewed in its entirety by THR and excerpted below, reveals that the judge admonished Freid for his failure to inform him about the custody agreement reached between Grigorieva and Gibson.

Judge Scott Gordon (addressing Freid) at Wednesday's court hearing:

"My question for you is this. Why wasn't I told about this agreement in connection with the request for a temporary restraining order? Mr. (Stephen) Kolodny (Gibson's counsel) is exactly correct. Had I known the parties had an agreement, I may not have issued the order the way I did; and I find it very troubling that someone comes in, without notice to the other side, represents facts to me, including the fact this woman is so afraid of Mr. Gibson that she needs immediate protection, even though by -- based on her declaration, it's clear that nothing happened for a few months.

"The things that happened were so horrible and it was quite understandable to me that she finally came to the conclusion that she needed a restraining order, even though the bad stuff happened in February.

"But no one then told me there had been this intervening agreement about the child, and I'm really quite troubled by that."

Freid then unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the court that the settlement document was irrelevant because Grigorieva entered into the agreement because of false representations and without the advice of a family law attorney.

"She entered into that document because of false misrepresentations to her; that she was misadvised," Freid told the court.

Gordon responded at the hearing that not only was he troubled by Freid's failure to inform him of the settlement agreement but that he found the lawyer's arguments "disingenuous at best" and "very disturbing."

The judge then denied Freid's motions and ordered the tape recordings of Gibson sealed.
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