So, remember how we said Mel Gibson's breakup with Oksana Grigorieva was getting ugly? Turns out ugly was just a brief layover to a much more vicious place.
Both sides have launched full-on offensives in a war that will likely have no winners and one unfortunate casualty: their 8-month-old daughter, Lucia.
The latest salvo comes from the embattled, image-wrecked Oscar winner's attorney, who is taking issue with accusations that Gibson assaulted Grigorieva during a dust-up in January, three months before they announced their split.
"Oksana's deceitful conduct in trying to terminate Mel's access to his daughter continues," Stephen Kolodny rails to TMZ. "Making sensational allegations is not the way to resolve this."
Sources close to the Russian singer-songwriter, 40, claim the actor, 54, got physical with her as they argued at his Malibu house on Jan. 6, and she apparently considers him "extremely violent."
"She tried to protect the baby during one of Gibson's violent episodes when he punched Oksana in the face two times, breaking her teeth and giving her a concussion," a spy contends to TMZ.
But sources close to the star, who has seven children with not-quite-ex-wife Robyn, counter that Grigorieva "was completely out of control that day, screaming and shaking Lucia like a ragdoll."
Not so, says another Grigorieva insider: "She tried to protect his reputation, despite her fears of him and his verbal and physical abuse. She regrets having believed in his empty promises to obtain professional help to control his violent nature."
On June 20, Oksana asked for and received a restraining order barring Mel from coming near her. Within 24 hours, his legal team had the order modified so he could see his daughter, citing a preexisting custody agreement. He also reportedly got a restraining order of his own to ensure Oksana's pillowy lips stay zipped about their legal tussle (and maybe to head off the release of any "secret" recordings).
Gibson's lawyer hints that Grigorieva is motivated by her unhappiness with the custody terms.
"Having entered into an agreement that allows for overnight, unrestricted visitation, and would soon result in Mel having 50-50 custody of their daughter -- an agreement reached after a two-day mediation with two retired Superior Court judges, Mel was hopeful that their breakup was behind them and Lucia would be the beneficiary of cooperative parenting," he says. "Apparently, Lucia will be denied that good fortune."
Speaking of good fortune, Oksana kvetches to the London Daily Mail that because of Mel's supposed tightfistedness, she's having trouble making ends meet.
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"He is not paying me a penny. Nothing," she told the paper from her Los Angeles-area home, which Gibson is rumored to own. "There are so many lies being said about me. I was trying to keep things dignified and be respectful to the father of my daughter, but what he is doing is cruelty. I am having to live on credit cards and borrowed money. It is not a good situation."
Grigorieva, who is also the mother of a 13-year-old son with actor Timothy Dalton, believes she is the victim of Gibson's PR machine.
"So much that is being put out there is wrong," she insists. "He didn't dump me, I left him. I rescued my children and myself."
Concludes Oksana, "The truth will come out eventually. There are custody issues. What is happening to me is not fair."
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