Oksana Grigorieva on 'Larry King Live': 'I cannot live in silence'
In her first television interview, Oksana Grigorieva went on "Larry King Live" on Wednesday night, Nov. 17, to discuss her highly-publicized custody battle with actor Mel Gibson, as well as her decision to record their telephone conversations, in which he threatened her.
"I started taping it ... because I thought, 'I'm actually not going to live through the night,'" she tells King. She also added she wanted her mother to be able to share the tapes with the police in case anything should happen to her. She also says "he called me over 30 times. I only recorded eight conversations."
Grigorieva said the abuse started when she became pregnant, and that the couple "were extremely in love for two years ... We were very happy. He was a wonderful person. there are definitely two Mels."
She also revealed she's afraid to leave their 1-year-old daughter, Lucia, with Gibson. "I'm worried about my daughter spending over-nights there." When King asked if Gibson had ever abused their daughter, Grigorieva says he "grazed across Lucia's chin," because she was holding her in her arms when he hit her.
"Domestic violence is an illness," she says and claims Gibson is trying to wash his hands of his problem, instead of acknowledging he has one and getting help. "He went to 12-step, but I believe he never finished it ... He does not want to be responsible. He does not want to treat his illness."
When asked why she stayed with Gibson, Grigorieva says, "I stayed for a little bit too long. I gave him the last chance. He asked me for the last chance. He begged. He cried. He cried on his knees. What am I supposed to do?" Later, she added, "Being a domestic violence [victim], you always feel like you can help him."
Gibson has been ordered to pay $20,000 per month in child support, but Grigorieva tells King, "I haven't actually seen that yet. He's been fighting that since September."
When asked if she still has feelings for Gibson, after a long pause she says, "I think that what he's done is completely unforgivable."
"I cannot live in silence," she says. "It's not okay to be beaten in silence." Lastly, she says the reason she is speaking out against Gibson is because of the high-profile nature of the case and "other victims might not have such a chance to speak up."