- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a claim that Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva engaged in attempted extortion against the actor-director, an official said Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to provide further details about the claim by lawyers for Gibson or say when the inquiry might conclude.

“Detectives will follow the investigation wherever it leads,” Whitmore said.

Grigorieva’s spokesman Stephen Jaffe denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client, a Russian singer.

“To specifically address the allegations, my client, Ms. Grigorieva, has repeatedly stated that there is no credible evidence whatsoever of extortion by her, and she stands steadfastly by that statement,” Jaffe said.

Detectives interviewed Grigorieva, 40, earlier this month after she claimed Gibson abused her during an incident in January.

Detectives received CDs of audio recordings that will be evaluated for a potential case against Gibson.

Authorities also attended a hearing last week in the former couple’s custody dispute over their 8-month-old daughter. Records in that case are sealed.

Whitmore offered no timetable on when the case might be presented to the district attorney’s office, which will decide whether to pursue charges against either Gibson or Grigorieva.

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