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Oksana Grigorieva -- Extortion Claim a Red Herring

7/23/2010 7:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Sources connected with Oksana Grigorieva tell TMZ there is "no evidence" to support Mel Gibson's claim that she tried to extort him.

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As one source puts it, "Mel and his team are inventing false charges against Oksana as a retaliatory measure to take the heat off of Mel."

The source says Mel's people are trying "to stem the tide of public opinion against Mel Gibson for his continued bigotry and acts of physical and verbal abuse [by] spreading vicious and false rumors that Oksana engaged in an extortion plot against him."

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