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Nasty legal fight between Mel Gibson, ex-girlfriend ends with $750,000 child support deal
LOS ANGELES (AP) ' Mel Gibson will pay $750,000 to his ex-girlfriend and continue to provide housing and financial support for their young daughter to resolve a bitter legal fight that followed sexist, racist rants attributed to the actor.
The settlement disclosed Wednesday is intended to end the bickering and accusations that have permeated the case handled in mostly secret proceedings for more than a year, Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman said.
Gibson's payments to Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva are dependent on a lasting truce.
As part of the agreement, their daughter will receive support equal to what the actor-director provides for his other seven children. The former couple will split custody of the girl, who turns 2 in late October.
In addition, Gibson will keep paying for a multimillion house he purchased for Grigorieva and their daughter. The house will be sold when the girl turns 18 and she will receive the proceeds.
As a result of the settlement, Grigorieva cannot pursue a civil case against the Oscar winner, and both sides were ordered not to speak or write about their relationship or allegations of domestic abuse.
Lichtman specifically said neither side could release any audio recordings, an apparent reference to the series of rants that were leaked to the celebrity website RadarOnline.com.
"You look like a (expletive) bitch in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of (N-word), it will be your fault," the voice is heard telling Grigorieva in one tape. "You provoked it. You are provocatively dressed."
In another snippet released by the website, Grigorieva is heard describing how Gibson hit her in the face, and she questions his manhood. The response: "You know what, you ... (expletive) deserved it!"
Gibson has never publicly discussed the recordings and his attorneys did not refute they were the actor during a May court hearing in which Grigorieva agreed not to introduce them as evidence in the custody case.
Grigorieva's payments were divided into thirds, with the final payment occurring in 2016 if the agreement is not breached.
Her attorney, Daniel Horowitz, disputed reports that the settlement was a bad deal for his client. He told The Associated Press that he estimated the actual value of the deal to be worth about $5 million when rights to Grigorieva's music and her ability to live in her current home rent-free are factored in.
Celebrity website TMZ and the Los Angeles Times reported that the musician walked away from a deal worth at least $15 million last year. Horowitz said that agreement would have been subject to taxes, a longer payout period and other offsets that would have reduced its value.
The $750,000 that Grigorieva receives under the current agreement will not be taxed.
Gibson spoke a handful of times during the hearing, mainly to acknowledge he understood terms of the settlement.
"I'd like to say thanks your honor for bringing this matter to a reasonable conclusion," the "Braveheart" star said.
Grigorieva also thanked the judge and said she hoped the resolution meant Gibson's career could resume.
She previously accused Gibson of striking her during a fight in January 2010, and the actor-director pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic battery earlier this year.
Sheriff's detectives also investigated Gibson's claims that Grigorieva attempted to extort him, but prosecutors declined to file charges.
Gibson's attorneys are still working to finalize his divorce from his wife of nearly 28 years.
Laura Wasser, who represents Gibson's wife Robyn, told a judge Tuesday that they were putting the finishing touches on the divorce judgment and it should be completed in a few weeks.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/celebritydocket