The XX Factor

Mel Gibson’s Crack Up

Truly I do not envy Los Angeles family court Judge Scott M. Gordon, who must preside over the crack up that is Mel Gibson’s custody battle with Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his 1-year-old daughter, Lucia. If Gibson shows up in court today as promised, it will be a scene that only a rubbernecker can love, in which a washed up celebrity tries to use his child as a tool of revenge against the woman who was crazy enough to jump on board for his utter train wreck. Gibson has spewed racist rants at Grigorieva and by his own admission slapped her, according to the NYT . She says he also punched and choked her and threatened her with a gun last January. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office is investigating her for extortion, because Gibson says she threatened to make embarrassing recordings public if he didn’t give her all the child support she wanted. (Gibson’s anti-Semitic ravings when he was arrested for drunken driving a few years ago almost seem beside the point, given the rest of this.) Judge Gordon is supposed to focus on what’s best for Lucia in the midst of this circus. Maybe he should ask Gibson’s seven other kids for their survival tips. When a story goes tabloid crazy like this, the adults involved have clearly given up being real people. But the kids involved don’t have that luxury.

Photograph of Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva by Angela Weiss for Getty Images.