Oksana Grigorieva says she is willing to forgive ex-boyfriend Mel Gibson, who struck her in a violent confrontation, as the two continue a bitter custody battle over their 1-year-old daughter Lucia.
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 January 6 incident. Los Angeles authorities are also investigating his claims that Grigorieva tried to extort him. The two have been broken up since April. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.
"As a human being, as the mother of his child, I would forgive him," Grigorieva said on CNN's "Larry King Live" recently in her first television interview about the matter. "But he really needs to come and acknowledge what he's done and what he's dong - accusing the mother of his child of completely made-up extortion."
Gibson has said in court documents filed in June that he slapped Grigorieva, a 40-year-old Russian musician and former model, during the confrontation at his Los Angeles home in a bid to protect their baby, who she was holding in her arms at the time.
He has denied her claims that he punched her in the face and harmed Lucia as they argued in front of her 13-year-old son Sacha, whose father is actor Timothy Dalton.
"I was standing in the middle of the room with the baby like a mother protecting her cubs," she said. "I was standing in the middle of the room holding the baby as Mel proceeded into the room and stuck me twice in front of my boy. He wasn't drunk. He hit me and choked me in front of my son and brandished a gun at me. The very following day he was already apologetic."
"There were two fist blows," she added. "One of them was across my mouth, with broke my teeth, or veneers if you like. I think at the end of that blow, he grazed across Lucia's chin and maybe the porcelain ... went across her chin and she started bleeding but the actual cut was very small. He hit me with a fist. He hit me twice very fast. I just flew backwards onto the bed, with Lucia in my arms."
Grigorieva reiterated she did not leak recordings of a series of February phone calls that contained his alleged rants, and said that she had taped the conversations because she feared he would kill her.
"I wanted my mother to be able to prove that if I'm dead, this is who did it," she said. She also denied she is trying to extort Gibson, one of the highest earning actors in Hollywood, and said he tried to get her to agree to a multimillion dollar settlement that would give him larger custody over their daughter. He has not commented.
"I walked on $15 million of what he was offering me, to wash his hands on domestic violence, sign this agreement, to settle," she said. "This is a batterer who has been controlling me for quite a while. I stopped seeing my friends. I financially became completely dependent on him. I left him and this is the anger and outrage."
Grigorieva also recalled happier times with Gibson, saying he used to carry her around in his arms and call her his "little Communist" as a joke.
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.