In an emotional interview Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend, Russian singer song-writer, Oksana Grigorieva, has told about how their relationship began as a whirlwind romance and how Gibson’s rage and violent outburst led her to fear for her life.

Grigorieva and Gibson are now in a public and dramatic custody battle over their 12-month-old daughter, Lucia. The release of recordings, which Grigorieva now denies responsibility for, of Gibson shouting threats and expletives at her ex-boyfriend along with claims of violent attacks have all made for tabloid fodder as the court case continues.

However, during an interview with People magazine Grigorieva recently spoke about happier times when Gibson gave her a Claddagh ring as a symbol of his commitment to their relationship.

She said that during the beginning of their relationship (December 2007) their relationship was blissful. “He would carry me around like a little kid and call me ‘my rusita bonita’, Grigorieva told People.

Gibson has seven children from his previous marriage with Robyn but their marriage was over when he met Grigorieva. She explained “For many years they were very unhappy and their union was for the children.”

However, everything changed for Gibson when he met Grigorieva. She said “He said he was never in love before. In 2008 he gave me a Claddagh ring - a type of Irish wedding ring. He proposed his commitment for the rest of his life.”

Gibson has strong Irish links on his mother’s side. His mother is from Ardagh, County Longford. His first name, Mel, is for the Saint Mel, the fifth century founded of the diocese of Ardagh. His second name, Colmcille, is also for an Irish saint.

Grigorieva continued “He said that he wanted to have a ‘love baby’ - a baby born out of love. We were very happy. For two year he was hiding his dark side very well.”

However Gibson’s dark side eventually emerged, according to Grigorieva, he became violent threatening her and her children with violence. He eventually lashed out at her breaking her teeth. It was then that Grigorieva left her home fearing for her safety, their daughter Lucia and her own son Alexander.

She explained that the anger is not due to alcohol or substance abuse but depression. “He gets angry for no specific reason,” he told People. “The majority of the time it’s jealousy. He told me many times he had thoughts of suicide and he would’ve killed himself many times if he wasn’t Catholic. He’s afraid of hell.”

Grigorieva insists that she wants Gibson to be well. She says that she had nothing to do with the publicly damaging recordings of Gibson’s violent rants and that she is not a ‘gold digger’. She said “I’m standing up to a bully who is very rich and famous.”

She finished by saying “For the sake of Lucia, I really want him to be well. I’m not angry at him. He just needs to be a man. He has to have courage to be responsible for what he’s done, and then maybe God will forgive him, maybe his daughter will forgive him. Maybe we’ll all forgive him.”