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Loose Lips Could Sink Settlement for Mel Gibson Girlfriend

A few slipped sentences to radio host Howard Stern could spell a significant financial loss for Oksana Grigorieva, the former girlfriend of actor Mel Gibson. 

A Russian pianist and singer, Oksana Grigorieva gained household recognition in the United States as the girlfriend of actor Mel Gibson. When the relationship soured, allegations and audio recordings emerged to paint a painful portrait of a woman punched and taunted by her boyfriend. 

Following a bitter custody battle in 2011, Ms. Grigorieva agreed with Mr. Gibson to share joint physical custody of their 4-year-old daughter, Lucia. Although Ms. Grigorieva reportedly turned down an earlier settlement offer of $15 million from Mr. Gibson, she later agreed to a $750,000 settlement to be paid over time until 2016. 

Payment of the financial settlement was partially conditioned on the confidentiality of the parties. For unknown reasons, Ms. Grigorieva agreed to a radio interview with Mr. Stern, who pointedly addressed the actions of Mr. Gibson. Comments made by Ms. Grigorieva in the two-minute interview include: 

  • Her problems with Mr. Gibson were painful and dark.
  • It was painful for her to discuss her courtship with Mr. Gibson
  • When referring to the audio tapes, she commented, “[l]ife happens ... I'm still catching up on the humor part.” 

According to media reports, Ms. Grigorieva is to lose approximately one-third of her settlement for violation of its confidentiality clause. Since then, Ms. Grigorieva filed for bankruptcy, listing $48,000 in assets and $438,000 in debts, including $250,000 in legal fees. 

As noted by Ms. Grigorieva, life happens. When dealing with a custody action and the need to negotiate a favorable financial settlement in New York, you need skilled legal advice. Speak with us at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. 

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