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Mel Gibson to pay ex $750,000 in custody deal

02 september 2011, 18:02
Troubled actor and Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson will pay his ex-girlfriend $750,000 in a deal which grants the former couple joint custody of their young daughter, AFP reports, citing a judge Wednesday.

Details of the legal agreement between the "Braveheart" star and Oksana Grigorieva were unveiled after the Los Angeles Superior Court announced last Friday that a settlement had been reached.

Gibson, 55, who appeared subdued in court, will also give a house to their daughter Lucia in a deal that ended years of public feuding between the estranged couple, said judge Peter D. Lichtman.

Grigorieva and 22-month-old Lucia will be allowed to live in the suburban Los Angeles home until the child's 18th birthday, with the sale of that house then to be part of the daughter's trust.

After the judge read details of the settlement, Gibson stood up and said, "I'd like to say thanks, your honor, for bringing this matter to a reasonable conclusion."

Grigorieva, a 40-year-old Russian musician, thanked the judge and promised to do, "what's best for Lucia."

Gibson, whose three-year relationship with Grigorieva ended last year, will have equal custody of Lucia, who will share an inheritance equally with the actor's other seven children from his first wife, Robyn.

The $750,000 payment will be made in three $250,000 installments through Jan. 1, 2016, the court said. The settlement did not require Gibson to pay child support or any alimony to Grigorieva.

The settlement also stipulates that neither party can produce any books or articles, "or additional tape," about their relationship, a reference to leaked telephone conversations in which an enraged Gibson screamed at Grigorieva.

Gibson wore a two-piece blue suit and arrived with his attorney at the courtroom where dark-haired Grigorieva was dressed in black and already seated, surrounded by her lawyers. Neither looked at each other during a brief hearing.

Gibson, who won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for "Braveheart" in 1996, avoided jail time in March this year when he decided not to appeal domestic violence charges made by Grigorieva in 2010.

He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to attend a domestic violence counseling program.

After Wednesday's court hearing Grigorieva's attorney Daniel Horowitz told reporters assembled outside that Lucia, "was a planned child."

The couple, he said, "were in love," during their three-year relationship and despite all the public ugliness between the two, Horowitz said the settlement focuses on Lucia's best interests.

"Everything else is over," Horotwitz said, adding that singer-songwriter Grigorieva has an album coming out soon.

Gibson and his attorney left through a side door and eluded the assembled news media.

Gibson's career has struggled since his 2006 arrest for drunk driving, which became a major scandal because of anti-Semitic remarks he made to a highway patrol officer.

In that case, he was sentenced to three years probation and fined $1,300, after undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.

Gibson won critical acclaim earlier this year for his performance in eccentric movie "The Beaver," about a depressed man who turns to a hand puppet to help get his life back on track.

By David Finnigan

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