The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is focusing on a central issue in the Oksana Grigorieva/Mel Gibson extortion investigation -- What constitutes negotiation, and what is extortion?
L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Steve Whitmore tells TMZ
his Department is several weeks away from wrapping up its
investigation. As Whitmore put it, "One of the challenges investigators
are facing is what is considered a legal negotiating tactic and what
TMZ has learned ... the L.A. County
Sheriff's Department is combing over key pieces of evidence in the
Oksana Grigorieva extortion investigation ... and law enforcement
sources tell us the focus is on Oksana's iPhone, as well as text
messages and emails between Mel and Oksana.
Whitmore would not
discuss specific evidence in the investigation, but did say
investigators are conducting forensic analysis of the items.
Whitmore says there are two attorneys whom investigators still want to
interview, and there have been scheduling problems. TMZ knows the
lawyers are Eric George and Sonia Lee, who share a practice and
represented Oksana in the mediation in which Mel agreed to pay a total
of $15 million in return for the tapes and other evidence.
learned George -- who has been out of the country -- will be back in L.A.
later this week and is eager to speak with investigators. We understand
Lee is also willing to sit for an interview.
And, we're told the only person who is the target of the investigation is Oksana.