The cynic will say that Mel Gibson’s handlers are playing a trump card. The more charitable types will say Gibson falls into that old saying, “No fool like an old fool” especially in matters of the heart. No matter which side is making the most noise, the sordid case of Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva is all about greed and now, extortion.
Simply put, a case is being made that Mel Gibson’s new, ex-girlfriend is using extortion as a way to the top. It is a case of greed made possible by the unenlightened foibles of a one time well-respected actor. Secretly recorded rants now appear to be set-ups. The fact that the perpetrator of this set-up is Russian, adds another shade of murkiness ot the whole proceedings.
Yesterday the Hollywood Reporter asserted it has seen ‘sealed court documents’ that show Oksana is much less than a woman in fear. After reading the one time film industry trade newspaper’s article, the first question that jumps out is, can anyone get access to sealed court papers? Doesn’t sealed mean away from public scrutiny? The Hollywood Reporter asserts that these documents were “reviewed in its entirety by THR”. Somebody had some pull or bribed someone or at least broke a law.
The second thought jumping out was how fortunate for Gibson. The surreptitiously recorded CDs of conversations, so damning in their anger and vitriol, now appear to have been a set-up, an attempt at extortion. It doesn’t say much about Gibson. It makes him appear to be the dupe of a beautiful, scheming, much younger woman, but that’s better than a raving, raging male troglodyte.
Now toss in how Oksana’s lawyer, Manley Freid, has angered the judicial system by withholding pertinent information and the case surrounding Mel again looks more and more like a set-up. The sympathy is shifting. Gibson may not be the troglodyte he appeared to be. Nope, he is now looking like a dumb-dumb who was thinking with his small head, not the big one.
None of this excuses Gibson’s abhorrent behavior. What it does do is cast him in the light of the fool. Someone who cast his 28 year old marriage aside for a younger model, and now that younger model is trying to take him to the cleaners. It’s the stuff Hollywood film producer’s dreams are made of – rich older man, damaged by misdeeds, being undone by a Jezebel who has been revealed to be a gold digger.
In some ways that scenario plays better, at least for Gibson. Yeah, he’s a fool, but being a fool won’t wash up his career. The drama will play out. Most likely he will prevail. His career can be resuscitated after a suitable time in purgatory and with the deft handling of advisors who will direct him to a series of good deeds. His image will be rebuilt. The public will give him another chance.
On the other side of the coin, Oksana will also survive. In a culture where infamy is the equivalent of fame, if she plays her cards right, she will massage the system for fortune and notoriety. Maybe she’ll get a reality TV show with Michaele Salahi and JOh Edwards.
What remains, verifiable or not, is a sad tale of domestic abuse, greed, extortion and a scandal that titillates this culture. Tabloids, news outlets, internet web sites and even blogs like this one, all will ‘benefit’ from a wealthy stupid person and a beautiful immoral person jostling for control and money.
Garen has been sitting in the dark for a long time. As a film exhibitor, critic and analyst he has seen thousands of films. His unique insight into the industry can be seen or heard on NH Public Radio, WGBH radio, and NE Cable News.