Authenticity of Oksana Grigorieva pics in doubt

Mel Gibson's ex says photos show he assaulted her

Authorities investigating allegations of abuse by Mel Gibson and extortion by his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva are looking into the authenticity of several photographs depicting Grigorieva with facial injuries she claims were inflicted by Gibson, according to a source close to the investigation.

The photographs of Grigorieva were posted online shortly after a court hearing in which the judge ordered her to turn over all copies of audio recordings she had made of conversations with Gibson.

However, during two months of negotiations and the presentation of massive amounts of evidence by each side at the Gibson-Grigorieva mediation in May, there never was discussion about the existence of a photograph purporting to show Grigorieva with a black eye. It was not disclosed during the mediation as evidence of Gibson's abuse because, the source said: "It just did not exist. The thing is fabricated."

Grigorieva's lawyer could not be reached for comment, nor could Gibson's lawyer. A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department did not return a call for comment.

Additionally, though Grigorieva alleged at the mediation that Gibson's assault on her resulted in breaking her two front teeth and then presented a photograph as evidence, a source close to the case said authorities also are investigating the authenticity of that photograph.

"The photograph just shows her with two veneers missing," the source said. "There's no evidence of any bruising around her mouth, indicating that she'd been hit."

According to a law-enforcement source, investigators are looking into whether the photographs of Grigorieva were physically altered and whether those photographs accurately reflect anything that occurred between the parties.

Jeff Ikemiya, a Hollywood photographic expert with 20 years experience and who is not involved in the Gibson case, said it's not particularly difficult these days to find out whether a photograph has been altered.

"Once you shoot an image and open that image into Photoshop, it has a marker; you can tell if it's the original file just by that marker," said Ikemiya, head of client services at Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood. Ikemiya added that while it's fairly easy to change the content of a picture, it's also easy to prove that the content was changed.

"You can actually copy a bruise from someone else and lay it on top of another picture," he said. "It can still look like a bruise and have pixels in that area, but if they don't match up, you can tell that something was done."
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