Lawyer: Stop Making Oksana the Villain!

Celebrity News Sep. 22, 2010 AT 11:51AM
Lawyer: Stop Making Oksana the Villain! Credit: Angela Weiss/Getty Images; Michael Kovac/FilmMagic

Attorneys for Oksana Grigorieva are defending the Russian singer, 41, against claims that she is trying to extort money from Mel Gibson.

"She's a domestic violence victim, she was beaten, she was terrorized, and yet all the media seems to focus on is whether she extorted Mel Gibson, when in fact it's just the opposite," lawyer Daniel Horowitz said on the Today show Wednesday. "This has never been about money, there's no chance in my view of anything even close to extortion ... This is what happens to domestic violence victims, they're vilified, and we're trying to set the record straight."

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Grigorieva -- who is engaged in an ugly custody spat with Gibson, 54, over their 10-month-old daughter Lucia -- has claimed that he punched her twice in the face last January. She recorded phone conversations -- during which he spewed racist, violent rants -- to document his outbursts.

Though the tapes later surfaced online, her attorneys insist she never leaked them.

"Anybody who is beaten or threatened has a right to document it," said Horowitz. "Otherwise it's Mel Gibson, one of the biggest superstars in the world against this lone woman. Anyone who says she did this in exchange for money is a liar. They'll pay a price. Those are worth a million to whoever leaked them and she is broke. She tried to hold back any negative publicity about Mel."

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Attorney Martin Garbus wants the public to know that Grigorieva is a woman of “stature and accomplishment ... She’s not someone who’s being accurately portrayed in the media."

Oddly, on Tuesday, emails between Gibson and Grigorieva surfaced online. The day after their domestic dispute, Gibson told her he was "sorry," but he never explained why. Two months later, he expressed more remorse, but she told him he didn't do anything wrong.

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The case was handed over to the Los Angeles District Attorney in August to decide charges; it could take months.

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