Is Mel Gibson Dangerous?
July 20, 2010
Sheila Riesel, partner in Blank Rome’s matrimonial practice group, discussed the scandal surrounding alleged tapes of Mel Gibson’s violent tirades and the custody arrangement of his infant daughter with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva on MSNBC.com.
Mr. Gibson still has visitation rights with his daughter, but Ms. Riesel said the leaked tapes raise concerns about a hostile environment for the child.
“When a tape recording…presumed to be accurate reflects such rage and uncontrollable hostility, there is legitimate concern that the individual involved would not be a safe caretaker of a young child,“ Ms. Riesel said.
Ms. Riesel added that she’s familiar with such emotional circumstances.
“I can understand that people under that kind of stress can say things they wouldn’t otherwise. It’s hardly a definitive, dispositive incident, but it does raise concern, and I would think that a judge would want to engage in further inquiry before he would agree that a young child should be in his unsupervised care.”
Despite testimony from Mr. Gibson’s ex-wife, who stated that she never witnessed a single violent incident during their 28 years together, Ms. Riesel said that people can change.
“One can’t help but think that his past conduct might well be relevant of his character and personality. But we have also seen that things happen to people, and people who were in the past upstanding and reliable citizens change. Things have happened to them that have changed the way they behave. “
“Is Mel Gibson Dangerous?” appeared on MSNBC TV on July 20, 2010. To view Ms. Riesel’s segment, visit www.msnbc.msn.com.