02/17/2011 05:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oksana Grigorieva-Mel Gibson Extortion Investigation: Pair Texted As Lawyers Brokered Split

A Los Angeles Times investigation has discovered text messages that Mel Gibson and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva exchanged while their lawyers duked it out over the terms of Grigorieva's settlement. Gibson's camp says Grigorieva demanded the award in exchange for agreeing to destroy tapes of Gibson's racist rants, an act they believe amounts to extortion.

On the same day last spring that Gibson's lawyers proposed the $18-million-dollar settlement deal, the L.A. Times reports that Gibson wrote the following text to Grigorieva:

"You don't call. You don't accept my invitation to come. You hand tapes around & jeopardize us all."

Grigorieva, a Russian pianist represented by Gibson's record label who began dating Gibson 3 years ago while he was still married to his wife, Robyn, replied: "I wouldn't have played ur messages if u were keeping ur word." She was referring to an earlier promise she claimed Gibson had made to care for their now-16-month-old daughter Lucia, "in the most generous way."

Grigorieva later wrote: "U threated [sic] her as an illegitimate child. That's why I played the tapes."

The Los Angeles County D.A.'s office has yet to decide if Grigorieva's request for $20-million from Gibson in exchange for staying mum about the tapes amounts to extortion as Gibson's lawyers allege--and according to TMZ, it seems the D.A. won't be making a decision on the matter until at least next week.