Mel Gibson is reconciling with his wife and plans to leave the United States for Australia, where he grew up as a teenager and started his movie career, according to the Sunday edition of London’s Daily Mail newspaper. Based on information from Gibson’s friends, the Daily Mail reported that it was Robyn Gibson’s idea for both the reconciliation and exile.
Robyn, an Australian by birth, married Mel in 1980 and bore him seven children. The couple met in Adelaide, Australia in the late 1970s, when she was a dental assistant and he a member of the State Theatre Company of South Australia. She filed for divorce in April 2009 but they have yet to receive the final decree. They have been selling property in anticipation of a settlement, including paintings such as Maxfield Parrish’s “Daybreak” for $5.2 million, a fire sale that generated a loss of $2.4 million for the couple.
In the now-infamous “Mel Gibson rant tapes,” the Oscar-winner berates his ex-mistress Oksana Grigorieva for being a gold digger, claiming that he spent $5 million on her and is out of money, having had to sell off his paintings. Sources close to Gibson claim the release of the tapes was part of an extortion plot launched by Grigorieva to shake Mel down for more than $10 million. A cohabitation agreement she signed while pregnant reportedly cuts her off without a penny.
The final property settlement of the Gibson estate has yet to be made. The Gibsons may be worth as much as $1 billion.
According to the celebrity gossip site TMZ, Robyn Gibson’s support of Mel was a critical factor in his prevailing during his recent Family Court hearing. Gibson is engaged in a nasty custody battle with his Oksana Grirgorieva, the mother of his nine-month-old daughter Lucia. It was the public revelation of his relationship with Grigorieva — the press photographed the couple vacationing in Costa Rica — that led Robyn Gibson to file for divorce.
Oksana Grigorieva had petitioned the Family Court to have Mel Gibson’s visitation rights stripped on the basis of his alleged physical assault on her in January 2010 that left her with broken teeth and the baby Lucia with bruises. Grigorieva informed the court that she feared for her life due to Gibson’s violent temper.
Judge Scott Brown dismissed her charges of domestic violence for now and refused to take visitation rights away from Gibson. He does not believe that Mel is a threat to Lucia. Robyn Gibson made a sworn statement that Gibson was a loving father who never had never physically abused her or their seven children in the 28 years they were together.
TMZ says sources close to the case said that Robyn’s declaration made a big impact on Judge Brown, who has specialized in domestic violence cases while a member of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. TMZ says that the domestic violence unit of the D.A.’s Office strongly believes that a man who engages in domestic violence against a woman is violent with everyone he’s involved with.
Robyn Gibson’s sworn statement that Mel had never engaged in domestic violence reportedly struck a nerve with the experienced Judge Brown and was critical to his determination that the movie star was not a threat to his child with Grigorieva. He did not amend the custody agreement, which gives Mel visitation rights with his daughter.
Back to Oz
Sources close to Mel and Robyn Gibson says that it is Robyn’s idea for Mel to quit the United States and move back to their ranch in Australia. Mel’s father Hutton Gibson, a noted opponent of the Roman Catholic Church’s Vatican II reforms, moved his family from New York to Australia when the future movie star and Oscar-winning filmmaker was 12 years old.
Mel’s star, which is now in eclipse, first burst onto the scene in the Australian-made movies Mad Max and its two sequels, The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. He gave a critically acclaimed performance as an Australian soldier in the World War One drama Gallipoli. An American citizen by birth, he moved to California and settled in Malibu after becoming a megastar in such American films as the Lethal Weapon series. He won an Academy Award for directing Braveheart.
Robyn Gibson is convinced, according to the sources quoted by the Daily Mail, that her estranged husband must get away from Hollywood. The Daily Mail cites one source as saying Robyn is appalled by what Oksana Grigorieva has put her ex-husband through.
‘She is shocked and furious at this woman’s lies and their seven children are shocked,” the source was quoted as saying.
Robyn reportedly will move back to Australia with Mel and some of their children.
In related news, Mel Gibson has sold his New York estate for $24 million, $15 million less than the asking price. Reportedly, he also plans to put his Malibu estate up for sale. He and ex-wife Robyn Gibson own a great deal of property in the Malibu area.
Both Gibson’s Malibu estate and the traditionalist Catholic church he founded in the beach side community have been under heightened security since the the “Mel Gibson rant tapes” scandal broke. Security is now a 24/7 affair at the Gibson family estate.
Quoting a member of the Malibu church’s congregation, TMZ said security at the house of worship is on a “high alert” status. Members of the church, which is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church’s Los Angeles diocese, are having their I.D.s checked by security guards and are not allowed to bring non-church members with them to worship. The church is not accepting new members.
In one of the Gibson rant tapes, Mel told Oksana — who ceased going to his church in February 2010, a month after he allegedly assaulted her and the child — that he had fallen out with ex-wife Robyn, who is an Episcopalian, because they did not share the same spiritual background. Mel then used this as a jumping off point to accuse Grigorieva of being soulless.
“You need a [expletive deleted] soul,” he yelled at her.
Apparently, his estranged wife Robyn Gibson believes that Mel needs to move back Down Under in order to save his own.