Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva: Why Their Custody Battle Went Nuclear

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva: Why Their Custody Battle Went Nuclear
Oksana Grigorieva and Mel Gibson
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

updated 07/16/2010 at 06:00 PM EDT

originally published 07/16/2010 07:00PM

Two months ago, Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva both sat down in a downtown Los Angeles law office and signed a private contract guaranteeing that her taped conversations of him, made in February, would never see the light of day.

That out-of-court settlement, which also detailed child support payments for their baby Lucia, "was superb and mutually beneficial," says a source close to the case.

The source says the agreement was in the best interests of both Grigorieva and Gibson, whom she taped allegedly threatening her and admitting to having hit her. The authenticity of the tapes is currently being examined by L.A. sheriff's detectives.

Within weeks, all hell broke loose: Both sides were slapped with restraining orders, a judge forced Grigorieva to surrender the audiotapes, and Gibson's alleged vitriol went viral.



So what happened?

Emotionally Vulnerable

"This is a case of a woman scorned," says the source. "When Oksana first met Mel, he promised her the world. Obviously things didn't work out. She ultimately felt screwed over because he wanted out of the relationship."

"Oksana is in essence a good person," the source continues, "yet someone emotionally vulnerable and profoundly naive. She let herself get swept up in this horrendous mess by listening to the wrong advice."

According to the source, Grigorieva, 40, regretted signing the May contract and sought new attorneys who advised her that they could get a better deal.

Gibson, 54, the source says, did nothing to violate the settlement.



"Because Oksana's emotionally vulnerable, she was easily manipulated," the source says. "By going on the offensive, she opened Pandora's Box by disregarding the settlement and taking the case to court, which made the case public. Compounding that, her team didn't disclose the existence of the settlement agreement, which angered the judge. It was a total disaster."

Asked why Grigorieva didn't call the cops on Gibson after he allegedly hit her in January, the source explains: "Oksana didn't want to disrupt things with Mel. She wanted to make sure Lucia was well taken care of. It was best to resolve the situation as a private family matter."

As for how this mess will all resolve: "This is a high-stakes poker game with potential crimes committed on both sides that could go either way at this point," says the source. "The gloves are completely off."

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