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Image: Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva
Phil Mccarten  /  REUTERS file
Mel Gibson’s world seems to be imploding around him thanks to the release of stunning tapes that seem to show him berating girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. But reports that he is leaving the U.S. for Australia aren't true.
By The Scoop
TODAY.com
updated 7/18/2010 6:04:40 PM ET 2010-07-18T22:04:40

While Mel Gibson’s world seems to be imploding around him, it’s business as usual for the actor, who is at work on a film and has no plans to vacate the country.

On Sunday, the Daily Mail alleged that Gibson would be fleeing to Australia, the country to which he and his family moved when he was 12. But Gibson’s rep Alan Nierob confirms that Gibson is planning on staying put in the U.S., saying, “there’s no truth to the Mail story.”

Gibson, who is in a bitter custody dispute with his ex Oksana Grigorieva and is believed to be the man threatening Grigorieva on leaked tapes , is continuing to work amid the controversy.

His rep also confirmed that Gibson “did shoot in NYC two weeks ago,” for his upcoming film, “The Beaver.” That shoot took place after the July 1 release of the first tape, and overlapped with the time period in which Grigorieva filed a domestic violence complaint against Gibson, and Gibson was dropped by his talent agency, William Morris Endeavor.

“The Beaver,” which co-stars and is directed by Jodie Foster, has no scheduled release date yet. Nierob said that would be up to the film’s distributor, Summit, which had no comment.

Welcome to the ‘Community,’ Betty White
America’s grandma, Betty White, is making another stop on television. This time, to NBC’s “Community.”

(TODAYshow.com is part of msnbc.com, which is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)

The 88-year-old actress will guest star on the Sept. 23 premiere of the second season, where she will play an off-kilter anthropology professor, influenced by the character White played in the Snickers football commercial.

“She's sort of my version of Joseph Campbell if he wasn't interested in being polite,” said creator Dan Harmon to TV Guide Magazine. “She has a great deal of knowledge, she's a student of humanity and therefore knows there's a very blurry line between man and animal.”

He said White’s character will be knowledgeable, quirky and “very lucid, to the point of maybe being scary.” The role is designed so White can come back as a recurring character if she enjoys doing it, which Harmon hopes she will.

“I've been a fan for a long time, so I wrote to capitalize on the stuff she's brought to the table for a long time,” Harmon said.

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Chris and Malaak Rock focus on charity
Chris Rock and his wife Malaak might live a long way from Chris’ onetime neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, but they haven’t forgotten about it.

"There is a crisis in our education system, nationwide, including Brooklyn, which is where my husband, Chris Rock, grew up. (Only) 34.9% of students are graduating from the local high school in his old neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant,” Chris’ wife Malaak Rock said to TODAYshow.com. “Because of these startling statistics, we have to think out of the box on how we engage children and inspire them to have dreams for their future."

Which is why the Rocks teamed up with Charity Folks to raise money for their own charity, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service. The organization helps send kids from Rock's old neighborhood to Africa for volunteer opportunities. The comedian and his wife are auctioning off some exclusive prizes, including a courtside double date with them at an upcoming New York Knicks game.

The auction closes Tuesday.

Dreamy weekend
If there was any question about Leonardo DiCaprio’s box office bankability, look no further than “Inception” for your answer. His new sci-fi thriller made $60.4 million this weekend.

“Despicable Me” was a distant No. 2 with $32.7 million, and the other new release, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” came in No. 3 with $17.4 million.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on today.msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Video: Is Oksana trying to extort Gibson?

  1. Transcript of: Is Oksana trying to extort Gibson?

    COURTNEY HAZLETT reporting: Good morning.

    MORALES: So a lot of questions about the authenticity of this, including some statements made by her dentist at the time who said that it appeared the photos that were circulating online had been doctored, which now apparently he regrets that he said that.

    HAZLETT: Right.

    MORALES: So what's the story on all of this?

    HAZLETT: I mean, you would think if there's anyone here who knows whether those are authentic photos or not, it would be her dentist.

    MORALES: Right.

    HAZLETT: And so very curious that he would say that. And then...

    MORALES: He said that the nose and the facial features didn't match up.

    HAZLETT: Right, that it didn't all match up. So very curious that he'd say that. Oksana 's rep, of course, is saying, no, they're definitely the real thing here.

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    HAZLETT: This is -- this is evidence that's being submitted as part of the police investigation into the domestic violence dispute. The end of the day , everybody who's following this story needs to keep in mind that there's a business for RadarOnline and the other outlets as well, and what I mean to say is...

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    HAZLETT: ...that with this story, which is so owned by RadarOnline ...

    MORALES: With those audiotapes.

    HAZLETT: ...now with those audiotapes that just dribbled out over the course of almost two weeks, with this photo now, Radar owns this story. So it's up to everyone else to find that expert who will refute the story in some way.

    MORALES: It's very interesting.

    HAZLETT: So that they can keep it going.

    MORALES: So the TMZs of the world are now finding their own experts.

    HAZLETT: Right.

    MORALES: OK. So, I mean, in the end, though, those photos, whether doctored or not, could they be used, though, in presenting the case and pressing charges, possibly, against Mel Gibson ?

    HAZLETT: It's very possible that they could be used against Mel Gibson . Is it the sort of thing that's going to land him in jail? Probably not, say most legal experts. What it could do, though, is tarnish his reputation to the point where he's not bankable in Hollywood , and that's what Hollywood cares about most here. Not as a -- it's not necessarily what your rap sheet looks like.

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    HAZLETT: We've already proven that people like Robert Downey Jr. can have a huge comeback. It all comes back to whether or not you're a bankable star . And for Mel Gibson , right now that question is on the bubble.

    MORALES: Well, meanwhile, you actually confirmed with some of his reps that he was -- during all of this, while his world was imploding around him, he's here -- or he was here in New York City last week shooting " The Beaver ," the movie that is directed by Jodie Foster . So that's been going on in the busiest city in the world.

    HAZLETT: In the busiest city in the world. While all these tapes were coming out, while these charges were being filed against him, he's here in New York City doing reshoots for this movie. The studio, Summit Entertainment , hasn't put a release date on that movie, so there's a question, will this film ever see the light of day ?

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    HAZLETT: " Edge of Darkness " was Mel Gibson 's last film. It only made $43 million. That's not a lot of money for a star of Mel Gibson 's caliber.

    MORALES: No.

    HAZLETT: If this hurts him further, studios are going to really take a second look at whether it's worth it to spend the money to put his projects out there.

    MORALES: And Jodie Foster 's been mum on the whole thing. She's not talking about this.

    HAZLETT: She's not saying a word.

    MORALES: Right. And meantime, you also got confirmation over the weekend, there was a report out there, a rumor, that he might be fleeing down under. Not going back to Australia , is that right?

    HAZLETT: Not going back to Australia . He moved there when he was 12. We get to keep him here in the United States . He's staying put, at least for the time being , according to his publicist.

Photos: Mel Gibson

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  1. Talk to the hand

    Jodie Foster directs Mel Gibson in the much-delayed film "The Beaver." Gibson is Walter Black, formerlly a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can't seem to get himself back on track ... until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ready to plead

    Gibson arrives at Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles on March 11, 2011. Prosecutors charged Gibson with misdemeanor battery after a lengthy investigation into a fight with his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson pleaded no contest to resolve the case and faced no jail time. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Tough to hear

    At the height of her conflict with Gibson, Grigorieva released audio recordings through the website RadarOnline that captured Gibson raging against her. (Mikhail Metzel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Short-lived romance

    After nearly 30 years of marriage to wife Robyn, Gibson left her for Grigorieva, who has a son from an earlier relationship with actor Timothy Dalton. Gibson and Grigorieva had a daughter, Lucia, on Oct. 30, 2009, but split up in April of 2010. (Jacques Brinon / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Will audiences come?

    Gibson, center, speaks on set during the filming of "Apocalypto" in 2006. This historical epic follows the decline of the Mayan civilization 600 years ago, just before Spanish invaders conquered Central America. The story revolves around one native who fights to save his culture from the outsiders. (Andrew Cooper / Icon Distribution via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. After the rant

    Gibson had his police mug shot taken July 28, 2006, in Los Angeles after he was arrested for drunk driving. He was pulled over for speeding and had a blood alcohol reading of 0.12 percent, according to authorities. More notoriously, Gibson let loose an anti-Semitic tirade, blaming the Jewish people for all "the wars in the world." (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'Apocalypto' now

    Gibson pulls on his beard during a news conference held in Veracruz, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. Gibson announced the shooting of "Apocalypto," a film in which the dialogue is spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect. (David Hernandez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Gibson's 'Passion'

    Gibson directs Jim Caviezel as Jesus on the set of Gibson's movie "The Passion of The Christ." The film was based on the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ. The film grossed more than $370 million. Gibson was criticized by some for the film's perceived anti-Semitism. (Icon Prodictions via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Good soldier

    In "We Were Soldiers" (2002), Gibson played Lt. Colonel Hal Moore who, during the Vietnam War, had to lead his men into a small clearing where they were surrounded by 4,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Man of the People

    Gibson accepts his trophies for favorite motion picture star in a drama and favorite motion picture actor during the People's Choice Awards in January, 2001. (Lucy Nicholson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Finding his inner female

    Gibson tried his hand at romantic comedy in "What Women Want" (2000). Nick (Gibson), a chauvinistic hot-shot advertising exec, has his life turned haywire when a fluke accident enables him to hear what women think. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Seeking his son

    Gibson starred in 1996's "Ransom" as a multimillionaire whose young son (played by Brawley Nolte) is kidnapped for ransom. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Oscar winner

    Mel Gibson holds Oscars for best director and best picture for "Braveheart," at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Gibson shared the best picture award with producers Alan Ladd and Bruce Davey. (Jeff Haynes / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Director and star

    In "Braveheart" (1995), Gibson played William Wallace, a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan), who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. (AFP -Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. No pretty-boy role

    In "The Man Without a Face" (1993), Gibson plays Justin McLeod, a former teacher whose face was disfigured in an automobile accident and fire who lives as a recluse. He is befriended by a young man named Chuck (Nick Stahl), which ignites suspicion and hostility from the townspeople. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Sci-fi drama

    In "Forever Young" (1992), a 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel McCormick (Gibson) wants to be frozen for a year so that he doesn't have to watch his love lying in a coma. The next thing Daniel knows he's awoken in 1992. The film also features a very young Elijah Wood, right. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Together for decades

    Gibson and wife Robyn attended the "Hamlet" premiere in Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 1990. Gibson married Robyn Moore in 1980 and they divorced in 2009. They have seven children together. (Barry King / WireImage.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A mother's son

    In "Hamlet" (1990), Gibson took on Shakespeare's melancholy Danish prince. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, the film also starred Glenn Close as Hamlet's mother Gertrude. In real life, Close is only nine years older than Gibson. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Come fly with me

    Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. starred in 1990's "Air America," about two pilots during the Vietnam War who discover their planes are being used to smuggle heroin. () Back to slideshow navigation
  20. It takes a team

    "Lethal Weapon" (1987) is the first of a series of movies that were released in 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1998, all starring Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of Los Angeles police officers. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A tradition begins

    People's "Sexiest Man Alive" list began in 1985 with Mel Gibson. That year Gibson also starred in the final (at least for now, as there are talks of resurrecting the franchise) "Mad Max" film, "Beyond Thunderdome," opposite Tina Turner. (People) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Early troubles

    In 1984, Gibson starred as Fletcher Christian in "The Bounty," the story of Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins), whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. According to Wikipedia, Gibson and Hopkins did not get along during the shoot. At the time, Hopkins was a teetotaler, and Gibson was struggling with alcoholism. Gibson took to mixing two shots of Scotch with his beer. He dubbed the concoction "Liquid Violence." (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Stunning early performance

    "Gallipoli" (1981) tells the story of a group of young Australian men who leave their various backgrounds behind and sign up to join the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in World War I. They each meet their fates against the Turkish army in the infamous battle. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. 'Mad' Mel

    In "Mad Max" (1979), an Australian dystopia of decaying order and violent highways, a police pursuit driver is drawn into a path of vengeance after a motorcycle gang targets him for the death of their former leader. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Auspicious beginnings

    Gibson made his feature-film debut in "Summer City" (1976), a low-budget Australian teen drama that chronicles the exploits of a quartet of boys who leave Sydney and head out for a weekend of surfing and adventure. Unfortunately the fun takes a serious turn when they find themselves involved in a murder. (Platinum Disc) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Summit Entertainment
    Above: Slideshow (25) Mel Gibson
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    Slideshow (7) Mel Gibson in cartoons
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    Slideshow (32) Celebrity scandals of 2010

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