Mel Gibson’s estranged wife is defending him against allegations he hit former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva while she held their 9-month-old baby.
“Mel never engaged in any physical abuse of any kind toward me before, during or after our marriage,” Robyn Gibson said in a declaration to a Los Angeles judge overseeing the custody battle between Gibson and Grigorieva. “Mel was a wonderful and loving father.”
Moore, who had seven children with Gibson during their nearly 30-year marriage, split from him in April 2009. Their divorce proceedings are ongoing.
“Robyn felt she needed to speak out to protect her children and family,” says a source close to her. “Robyn’s tried to stay out of this, but she wanted to make sure there was no speculation of what happened within her family.”
The fallout from the custody fight continued as lawyers for both sides faced off Thursday in an L.A. courtroom.
Attending the hearing were three L.A. sheriff’s officers: One sergeant and one detective from the Special Victims Unit which “investigates child abuse and sexual assault,” they explained to reporters outside the courtroom. They declined to specify why they were there.
Another detective was from the Commercial Crimes division. Also present in court was a representative from the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services.
L.A. sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed to PEOPLE that detectives want to sit with Gibson regarding the domestic violence allegations: “We want to interview him just like everyone else involved in this investigation,” Whitmore said, adding that detectives were given copies of the leaked telephone conversations on Thursday. “The tapes will be analyzed by our detectives. But they are not the central focus of the investigation, they’re just part and parcel of it.” Asked if there’s concern the tapes were doctored, Whitmore replied, “Our detectives will find out what’s going on.”
Attorneys for Grigorieva, 40, reportedly requested a judge to strip Gibson of all custody rights over Lucia. She claims the actor struck her “more than once” during a fight on Jan. 6 at Gibson’s Malibu home, breaking a tooth, knocking out a veneer and causing a concussion.
Grigorieva, who has a restraining order against Gibson, has reportedly received threatening phone calls in the last 48 hours and fears for the safety of her child. A Gibson source says, “It s just another premeditated attempt by Oksana to alter the facts.”