Mel Gibson has seven kids with his ex-wife Robyn Gibson. But right now it seems the sole weight of his paternity is on child number eight: Lucia, the daughter that he had with his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Today Gibson makes an appearance in the family law area of Los Angeles County Superior Court to address custodial rights involving Lucia, now a little over a year old.
"We're told the atmosphere was extremely tense and that Mel and Oksana have not interacted," reported TMZ in describing the in-court scene.
TMZ has also reported that Gibson will try "to wrestle custody from Oksana on grounds she is not acting in the best interests of Lucia. He's also asking the judge to deny Oksana overnight visits, and to grant her supervised visitation
It's also reporting that the reason Gibson is appearing in court is "because he wants the judge to see how serious he is about getting full custody, on grounds Oksana is hurting Lucia by going on what he considers a public smear campaign rooted in lies. We're told Mel's team believes Oksana's conduct -- especially in the face of Judge Scott Gordon warning her to stay silent -- smacks of instability."
TMZ's sources also said: "Mel will ask the judge to make the order last for six months, after which the issues can be revisited."
Attorneys representing both parties did not return calls.
In advance of any official legal ruling, victims' rights attorney Gloria Allred weighed in.
"It appears that Gibson is seeking primary physical custody of Lucia, and is attempting to severely restrict Oksana's visitation rights, but I think it's unlikely he'll obtain this," she said.
"In family law, the general principle is to do what's in the best interest of the child," she said, adding there are many factors that are involved with this type of decision. "However, the court will always consider which primary parent the child has been living with, and will wish to continue this arrangement unless it's no longer in the best interest of the child to continue it.
"Because Gibson's infant daughter has been living with Grigorieva, it is she who has had primary physical custody, and it's Gibson who has been having overnight visitation. The court would probably be reluctant to change this arrangement."