Oksana Grigorieva on Mel Gibson: I Thought He Would Kill Me

Actor-director Mel Gibson's almost 30-year marriage to the mother of his seven children ended in 2009 amid reports that the actor's girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, was pregnant. Grigorieva bore him a daughter before their relationship burst into flames amid charges of domestic violence and blackmail.
AP Photo/Arturo Rodriguez
Actor Mel Gibson, right, and Oksana Grigorieva attend The Hollywood Reporter's Nominees' Night Prelude to Oscar on Thursday, March 4, 2010, in Los Angeles.
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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva said she feared the Academy Award winner might kill her during a fight earlier this year, giving her first public account of an argument she claims turned violent.

Pictures: Excerpts from Gibson's Rants

The Russian-born musician accuses the "Braveheart" star of hitting and choking her and claims he had a gun during the January confrontation.

"I was scared for my life and my daughter's," she told People magazine in a story published Wednesday. "I thought he would kill me."

Grigorieva also told the magazine she did not leak now-famous tapes purportedly of the actor in a series of racist and misogynistic rants. Audio of the actor-director's rants was leaked to celebrity website, which has said the tapes did not come from Grigorieva.

She explained why she decided to tape Gibson's angry phone calls, telling the magazine, "I needed to document his threats."

The recordings were made a month after the alleged physical abuse.

Gibson's representatives did not participate in the People story and declined to comment on Grigorieva's interview.

She did not report the alleged abuse to authorities until months later, after the couple broke up and became embroiled in a bitter custody dispute over their infant daughter, Lucia. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has completed an investigation into Grigorieva's domestic violence claims and turned its results over to prosecutors.

The agency also is investigating Grigorieva after Gibson claimed she tried to extort him. Grigorieva told the magazine she refutes that claim.

Grigorieva, who is living in a home provided by the actor, said she didn't immediately report the violence in part because she didn't want to humiliate him. But she told the magazine that she now is fighting her ex-boyfriend for her daughter.

"I'm standing up to a bully who is very rich and famous," she said.

Grigorieva said in the interview that she hopes her daughter, who turns 1 later this month, will love and forgive Gibson.

"I'm not angry at him," she said. "For the sake of Lucia, I really want him to be well. He has to have the courage to be responsible for what he's done."