Gibson's ex in extortion probe

Detectives are investigating an alleged extortion bid by Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva against the actor-director.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore refused to provide further details of the claim by lawyers for 'Lethal Weapon' star Gibson or say when the inquiry might conclude.

“Detectives will follow the investigation wherever it leads,” Mr Whitmore said.

Russian singer Grigorieva’s spokesman Stephen Jaffe denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client.

“To specifically address the allegations, my client, Ms Grigorieva, has repeatedly stated that there is no credible evidence whatsoever of extortion by her, and she stands steadfastly by that statement,” Mr Jaffe said.

Detectives interviewed Grigorieva, 40, earlier this month after she claimed Gibson abused her during an incident in January.

Detectives received CDs of audio recordings that will be evaluated for a potential case against Gibson.

Authorities also attended a hearing last week in the former couple’s custody dispute over their eight-month-old daughter. Records in that case are sealed.

Mr Whitmore offered no timetable on when the case might be presented to the district attorney’s office, which will decide whether to pursue charges against either Gibson or Grigorieva.

Meanwhile California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wisecracked about Gibson, comparing him to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

He told a group of utility commissioners in Sacramento that while BP appeared to have contained its well, “no one has figured out how to contain Mel Gibson”.

A celebrity website has posted audio recordings of what it says are Gibson’s profanity-laced tirades against his ex-girlfriend.

Terminator star Schwarzenegger also told participants to turn off their mobile phones “because we are expecting a call from him”.

Gibson’s spokesman Alan Nierob said he was happy to hear that Schwarzenegger was maintaining a sense of humour, adding: “He’s obviously paving the way for a return to showbiz.”

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