LOS ANGELES - Mel Gibson's breakup with Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva was supposed to be a quiet affair, but a confidential settlement and sealed court case haven't kept the former couple's troubles from hitting the spotlight.
The latest flare-up began last week, when Grigorieva named Gibson in a child-custody case, which is sealed and will likely remain out of the public domain.
The seal hasn't kept the breakup out of headlines, though, continuing Gibson's streak in recent years of making news more for his personal life than for his film career.
And it's beginning to sound like a remake, with reports that Gibson was caught making racial slurs again.
According to to TMZ, Gibson was taped screaming at Grigorieva, who secretly taped Mel during an argument.
TMZ reports that Gibson said, "You look like a f------ pig in heat and if you get raped by a pack of n------, it will be your fault," during the argument. He also called Grigorieva a "whore" and a "c---," according to TMZ.
A representative for Gibson said, "I have no comment on, and furthermore no knowledge of, the credibility or authenticity of any alleged audio tapes."
The racially charged tapes emerged just days after Gibson filed a restraining order against Grigorieva.
On Monday, the actor-director's attorney issued a statement saying that the couple in May reached a custody agreement for their 7-month-old daughter, Lucia.
The contents of that pact were confidential, but attorney Ste-phen Kolodny accused the 40-year-old Grigorieva of violating its terms.
He said that Gibson has paid her "tens of thousands of dollars," is providing his daughter with health insurance and a nanny, and has bought a lavish home and a car for his ex-girlfriend.
Grigorieva, who met Gibson while he was filming "Edge of Darkness," told the Associated Press that she could not discuss the case.
The two were frequently photographed together when their relationship became public after the actor-director's wife filed for divorce last year. Grigorieva also has a son from her relationship with British actor Timothy Dalton, who played James Bond in two films.
In 2006, Gibson was arrested and charged with drunken driving. He later apologized for making a slew of anti-Semitic remarks, saying he had battled alcoholism for all of his adult life.
He complied with all the terms of the probation he was given in the case, and his conviction was expunged last year.
Gibson won an Academy Award in 1995 for directing "Braveheart," which also won that year's best-picture Oscar.
He has since split time between acting and directing. "Edge of Darkness" grossed an estimated $45 million at the domestic box office, very different from blockbusters of his action star heyday.
He is slated to appear next in the offbeat comedy "The Beaver," which co-stars and is directed by Gibson's longtime friend Jodie Foster.