Gossip website RadarOnline.com quotes sources as saying the former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, said Gibson was furious at the time at a leading Hollywood figure he felt had humiliated him, and hired a team of private eyes to follow the person around in 2009.
RadarOnline says Grigorieva told investigators Gibson, as the website puts it, "wanted the person taken to the desert, stripped naked, knee capped and left in the heat," but never had it done.
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The website has posted a series of audiotapes of a man who sounds very much like Gibson in livid, curse-filled rants at a woman it identifies as Grigorieva. She apparently made the tapes. She's in a bitter custody battle with Gibson over their 8-month-old daughter. Allegations by her led to the domestic violence investigation. The tapes include slurs aimed at African-Americans and Hispanics.
Meanwhile, fellow celebrity website says it's learned Grigorieva "had a civil lawsuit prepared and ready to file against Gibson in May, in the event Gibson failed to negotiate a custody and financial deal she considered fair." The site says lawyers for the parties agreed on a $15 million package for her that she ultimately didn't sign.
In January, Gibson allegedly punched Grigorieva twice in the head and tried to choke her while she was holding their baby, an incident the man on the tape appears to confirm happened.
The woman says, "Hitting a woman when she is holding a child in her hands, hitting her twice in the face? What kind of a man is that?" The man is heard responding, "You know what? You f****** deserved it."
And text messages said to be between them the next day and just posted by RadarOnline seem to show Gibson apologizing. In one, the sender who's supposedly him says, "Oksana, I wasn't safe for you last night," adding he "would like to come by and make amends."
Lawyers for Gibson deny the actor has ever hit Grigorieva, and accuse the Russian-born singer of trying to extort him.
"The text and emails exist that show there were either ulterior motives or additional motives beyond those that she stated in making those tape recordings," Allison Hope Weiner of The Hollywood Reporter told CBS News, "and some of those motives might be evidence of extortion."
On "The Early Show" Friday, CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford said there are so many angles of this case, it reminds him of a law school final exam in which students are asked to figure out what's going on. He offered his take on where things stand between Gibson and Grigorieva: