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OTRC: Mel Gibson admits slapping Oksana Grigorieva to try to protect baby Lucia

Mel Gibson speaks to KABC, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company, in 2009.

Mel Gibson admits he slapped his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during a January confrontation but says he did so to try and protect their baby daughter, Lucia, and denies he struck her hard.

Gibson, 54, has made headlines in recent months due to her allegations of domestic abuse and a leaked explicit, sexist and racist rant against her said to have been made by him following the alleged incident. Los Angeles authorities are also investigating his claims that Grigorieva tried to extort him earlier this year. The two have been broken up since April. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.

Grigorieva, a 40-year-old Russian musician and former model, has not commented on his latest reported claims. The Los Angeles Times says court documents filed in June show that Gibson said that on Jan. 6, 2010, he and Grigorieva argued in his Malibu home in front of Lucia, who was two months old at the time. He asked Grigorieva to leave the house and she refused.

"Oksana stormed into the room where Lucia was, grabbed her out of her bassinet and yelled at me, 'Stop yelling or you will make her into a retarded brain-damaged idiot!'" the documents quote Gibson as saying. "She continued to scream at me and argue with me while she held Lucia between us, literally placing our two-month-old baby in the middle of our argument."

He said Grigorieva then walked off with the baby, entering the room of Sacha, her son from a previous relationship, going out into his back yard. Gibson said he followed her because he was concerned about their daughter's safety and that Grigorieva, who was barefoot, then returned to the house and re-entered her son's bedroom.

"I repeated to Oksana to give Lucia to me but she kept screaming, 'No! No!'" Gibson said. "Suddenly, Oksana started swinging Lucia erratically in her arms, jerking her body from side to side to keep Lucia out of my reach. Oksana was acting hysterical and Lucia was screaming as Oksana's rapid movements were causing Lucia's little body to be flung from one side to the other, her head shaking violently."

Gibson said he felt he "needed to remove our baby from what had become a dangerous situation," but Grigorieva would not let him take their daughter.

"She continued screaming at me and was being so rough and erratic with her movements that I became increasingly afraid for Lucia's safety," he said. "I slapped Oksana one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality. I did not slap her hard - I was just trying to shock her so that she would stop screaming, continuing shaking Lucia back and forth. "

Grigorieva has accused Gibson of punching her in the temple and knocking off one of her dental veneers and has also said he hit their daughter.

"I did not ever punch her in the face or in the temple or anywhere else," he said. "While I do not believe that I handled the situation as well as I should have, I was worried about the rough way Oksana was shaking and tossing Lucia around, concerned about injury to our then two-month-old daughter. I was desperate to get Lucia out of Oksana's arms because of how Oksana was behaving and this was the only way I could think of to stop her hysteria."

Last week, Gibson was ordered to pay $60,000 in back child support to Grigorieva following a custody hearing over Lucia. A judge also allowed Grigorieva to live in the actor's home in the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks rent-free with their daughter.

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