Mel Gibson tapes: Gloria Allred weighs in
Tuesday, July 13, 2010; 12:00 PM
RadarOnline.com has released more tapes of Mel Gibson threatening violence against his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, and seemingly acknowledging that he hit her. Los Angeles authorities launched a domestic violence investigation last week. He has been reportedly dropped by his talent agency.
Criminal defense attorney Gloria Allred was online Tuesday, July 13, at Noon ET to discuss the tapes, whether they can be used against Gibson in a court of law, Hollywood reaction and the future of the the "Lethal Weapon" star.
Washington, D.C.: Why is the audio quality different when she talks and when he talks?
Gloria Allred: I think it will take an audio expert to answer that question and I am not an audio expert.
West Columbia, S.C.: This girl seems like a Delilah, trying to set Mel Gibson up for a bad situation. Everyone knows Mel is not perfect. If she had any real loyalty or honor or class, she would fight this custody battle away from the public.
Gloria Allred: I don't think anyone else should be blamed for what Mel Gibson says or does. He needs to take responsibility for his words and actions, and I hope he will be made accountable in a court of law.
Fairfax, Va.: What is the reaction in Hollywood?
Gloria Allred: I think that many in Hollywood are turning their backs on Mel Gibson. These tapes are shocking and disturbing and very, very serious. They are extremely damaging to his reputation and career.
Annandale, Va.: Will there be a court case now? Might you represent Oksana?
Gloria Allred: I do not represent Oksana. There is a criminal investigation by the Sheriff of LA County. The recordings have been subpoenaed. I think that there is sufficient evidence for the District Attorney of LA County to consider prosecuting Mr. Gibson.
Baltimore, Md.: Who will decide the credibility of the tapes, whether they are legitimate and not doctored?
Gloria Allred: That will be decided in a court of law.
Washington, D.C.: Do you think Gibson will ever work again? They say he has enough money to make his own pictures and do his own thing and that he doesn't financial help from others. Is this true?
Gloria Allred: Mr. Gibson is an extremely wealthy man. He can still work. The question is, how many people are willing to work with him? If the tapes are authentic, then he has uttered racial slurs against African-Americans and Latinos, as well as sexist slurs against women. In the past, he has uttered anti-Semitic slurs and homophobic slurs. How many members of these groups whom he has maligned would still be willing to work with him, is an open question.
Harrisburg. Pa.: When I hear Mel Gibson potentially faces several years in prison, how likely is that to happen in cases like these? Does Mel Gibson have a criminal record and, if so, what type of criminal record would matter in an abuse sentence? Would the drunk driving incident have any affect in a sentence for abuse?
Gloria Allred: If he is prosecuted, we would have to see what the charges are and what he is convicted of, if anything. At the time of the sentencing if he is convicted, the judge will review the guidelines for sentencing and will also review his prior criminal history. Then a decision will be made as to what the appropriate sentencing would be.
"I think that many in Hollywood are turning their backs on Mel Gibson": It's a shame Roman Polanski doesn't get the same treatment from Hollywood.
Gloria Allred: I agree.
San Francisco, Calif.: Do you think there are any obvious individuals who might reach out to try to help him? Is rehab the right choice? Is he even "fixable"?
Gloria Allred: I have no doubt that Mel Gibson has highly paid attorneys who will do everything they can for him. I don't know how well they will be able to help him out of this situation and I don't think that his prejudices and his attitude toward women are capable of a quick fix.
Evanston, Ill.: Lets suppose Mel Gibson hires you as his lawyer. How would you defend him?
Gloria Allred: Under no circumstances and for no amount of money would I ever represent Mel Gibson.
Shrewsbury, Pa.: These conversations indicate that Mel had totally lost control. Had he been drinking?
Gloria Allred: We'll have to wait for the facts to come out to answer that question.
Athens, Ga.: Oddly enough, "The Year of Living Dangerously" was on some cable channel one night not that long ago and watched it.
Helps remind me why Mel Gibson became a start.
Do you have a favorite film with Mel Gibson involved with it either in front of or behind the camera?
Gloria Allred: The drama that he is involved in now in real life with his ex girlfriend is far more interesting to me than any movie in which he has appeared.
Washington, D.C.: Can these tapes be used in a court of law against Mel Gibson? Are there legal charges against him because of the verbal attacks against his former girlfriend?
Gloria Allred: I do think that the tapes are admissible if there is a criminal prosecution of Mr. Gibson.
Chantilly, Va.: What might Gibson be charged with?
Gloria Allred: Possibly battery on Oksana and child endangerment of their baby if there is evidence that he hit Oksana while holding their baby. There may be additional charges as well depending on the evidence.
Washington, D.C.: Can you give us a timeframe? What happens now?
Gloria Allred: The LA County Sheriff is investigating. When they complete their investigation, they will decide if there is sufficient evidence to refer the case to the District Attorney of LA County. Reports have indicated that the Sheriff needs about a month for the investigation.
Philadelphia, Pa.: How clear is the allegation of abuse? What is Mel Gibson's response? Does he admit any abuse? Are there medical records supporting the abuse allegations?
Gloria Allred: Mel Gibson has made no comment. There is no public report concerning whether or not there are medical records confirming the allegations.
washingtonpost.com: This concludes our discussion with Gloria Allred. Thank you for joining.
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