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Mel Gibson Recording's Admissibility In Court Is Murky, Legal Experts Say

Publication Date: 
July 16, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Robert Faturechi

Professor Robert Weisberg discusses on what grounds recordings of Mel Gibson’s argument with his ex-girlfriend would be admissible in court:

An audio recording of Mel Gibson allegedly hurling profanities and making threats to his ex-girlfriend has been generating headlines all week. But there is much debate among legal experts about whether the recording would be allowed in any criminal prosecution of the actor-director.

In the recording released this week by the celebrity news website RadarOnline, the "Lethal Weapon" star is purportedly heard admitting to an assault, telling Russian model and former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva that she "deserved" to be hit.


Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg said Grigorieva would have to prove that her intention at the time of the recording was to eventually assist police — not, say, to sell the audio for profit.

Weisberg compared the alleged Gibson audio to recordings in the Scott Peterson murder trial, in which the Modesto man was recorded without his permission lying about his whereabouts. In that case, the recordings were deemed admissible, Weisberg said, because they were made to assist police.