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New evidence could open child abuse case in Mel Gibson probe

Detectives investigating Mel Gibson on a possible domestic violence case have received audio recordings from a court handling a child custody matter.

LA Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said CDs were turned over during a closed session in a custody case involving Gibson and his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.

The Russian singer has reported that the actor-director hurt her during an argument.

Yesterday's hearing was attended by several sheriff's investigators, including detectives who look into possible child abuse.

Whitmore declined to say whether the investigation into Gibson had expanded. "I'm not going to get into why they're there," he said of the detectives from the Special Victims Bureau.

He said investigators would try to authenticate the recordings, but declined to say how much audio was received from the court.

Gibson (54) and Grigorieva (40) are locked in a bitter custody dispute over their eight-month-old daughter. Neither one appeared in court for yesterday's session. Gibson's criminal lawyers, Blair Berk and Jim Asperger, attended the hearing.

Gibson did get some support from his estranged wife, Robyn, who filed a brief declaration stating that the actor-director had never physically abused her or her children.

Mel and Robyn Gibson have seven children together, only one of whom is younger than 18 years old.

Robyn Gibson filed for divorce in April 2009. The case is ongoing.