NEW YORK - Mel Gibson is heard allegedly acknowledging that the actor hit the mother of his 8-month daughter in a recording released by a celebrity news website.
The eight-minute recording posted Monday by RadarOnline.com is purportedly a phone argument between Gibson and then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. A voice sounding distinctively like the Academy Award-winner is heard telling Grigorieva that she "deserved" to be hit after she chastised him for allegedly punching her in the face and breaking two of her teeth.
"What kind of a man is that?" she is heard saying. "Hitting a woman when she's holding a child in her hands? Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?"
"Oh, you're all angry now!" Gibson responds. "You know what, you ... (expletive deleted) deserved it!"
Alan Nierob, a spokesman for Gibson, declined comment on the tape.
The former couple have been locked in a bitter custody dispute in Los Angeles. The 40-year-old singer has accused Gibson of domestic violence, and sheriff's officials have launched an investigation.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore would not say directly whether the recordings released by RadarOnline would become part of the investigation, but he said any potential evidence would be thoroughly reviewed and considered.
"Everything is part of the investigation," he said. "Anything that is connected to the case we will investigate."
He said there was no timeframe for the inquiry into Gibson to be concluded. "The larger the volume, the longer it will take," Whitmore said.
After detectives conclude their work, the case will be turned over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, which will decide whether to pursue criminal charges.
Last week, a recording posted by RadarOnline.com included segments it said was Gibson telling Grigorieva that she was dressing too provocatively and that it would be her fault if she were raped. He used the N-word at one point.
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