Exclusive: Inside the Mel Gibson Tape Scandal
The audio tapes that allegedly capture Mel Gibson berating his ex Oksana Grigorieva have caused a media firestorm for the 'Braveheart' superstar. RadarOnline is the website breaking it all, and Celebuzz chatted with Radar's Executive Vice President, David Perel, about the now-infamous tapes, whether they're doctored or not, and what's next for Mel and Oksana. "There are many more bombshells," Perel tells Celebuzz. Read his take on the scandal below:
When you were approached about the Mel Gibson recordings, what was your initial reaction when you heard how explosive they were?
It’s not necessarily accurate to say we were "approached" about the recordings. RadarOnline has been investigating the Mel-Oksana situation for a lengthy period of time and broke the first news on the story – that Mel had filed under seal an order restraining Oksana. We then discovered that Oksana had first filed a restraining order against Mel. When I heard the tapes, I was as astounded as I believe most people are. Mel is so filled with rage and anger that it shocks you. His racist rant while telling Oksana she is going to be raped because of the way she is dressed is sickening. The emotional violence that he heaps on her, the expletive-filled fits show an ugly, ugly side that advances everyone’s knowledge of some of the issues underlying this custody battle between Mel and Oksana and the criminal investigation and the DCFS investigation.
Some are claiming that the tapes are edited or tampered with. Do you know of any editing that was done, or has Radar edited them at all context-wise?
RadarOnline has not edited the tapes. A few names of private individuals were dropped out of one segment of audio but the tapes are not altered by us. These tapes are evidence in the criminal investigation and also under seal in the custody case. It is up to the police and the courts to determine if they were edited. But several top audio experts have authenticated them and one thing is very clear: Our investigation proves that is Mel Gibson on those tapes, that it is Mel Gibson saying those hateful words. When people throw around words like "edited" and "tampered with," they try to obscure the central issue. Mel wasn't saying, "Have a nice day, dear," and someone turned that into "You're going to be raped." Even Mel's people, who have done plenty of spinning on this story, have not denied that is Mel on the tapes, saying those words.
We know that Oksana recorded the tapes. She told authorities she did it because Mel threatened her life, and on the tapes Mel does threaten her. Experts and lawyers who work with domestic violence groups have told us this is an extremely smart thing to do, to get proof on tape. And it is clearly established on this tape that Oksana says Mel punched her while she was holding the baby. At one point after she says that, he tells her she deserved it.
Unfortunately what has happened in the reporting of the story is that as RadarOnline.com has broken the major exclusives, and some outlets have desperately tried to gain attention by simply creating stories. That has backfired on them as they have been forced to retract, especially one report which said Oksana’s injuries could have been self inflicted.
Has Mel’s camp approached Radar to try to stop any further tapes from coming out?
No. They have not. We have reached out to them and accurately reported what they told us. Then they stopped communicating.
How much more audio is there that hasn’t been released yet? Are there any other bombshells we can expect?
There are many more bombshells that will be reported. The police, DCFS and the courts are involved in this case and there is a lot of exclusive information RadarOnline.com will be publishing regarding what really happened between Mel and Oksana. We are simply reporting the facts, no matter where they lead and that is why Radar has been recognized as leading the way on the story. And yes, there is more audio.
What impact do you think the tapes will have on Mel’s career? Can he recover?
Celebrities are reluctant to criticize someone they think they may work with down the road, someone who can help them make money. I think he can recover with the help of an excellent legal team that is fighting the allegations hard and leveling its own charges against Oksana. Many people are simply finished with him, the anti-Semetic comments in 2006 and the racist comments caught on tape this year have made many people say, "Enough." But in Hollywood, if you can make money, someone is always willing to give you another chance.
What’s next for Oksana?
She hasn't said. From what we know, she wants to get this ordeal behind her and raise her children.