Experts Disagree If Alleged Gibson Recordings Were Tampered With
First Published: July 15, 2010 6:59 PM EDT Credit: Getty Premium
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- As the fifth alleged recording of voices thought to be Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva surfaced on Thursday, experts are disagreeing about whether or not the audio has been altered.
“Does it sound to you like this was edited at all?” NBC’s Jeff Rossen asked forensic voice analyst, Paul Ginsberg, in a taped segment on “Today.”
“No, his voice is continuous in tone and her voice is continuous in tone, level and amount of distortion.” Ginsberg said. “There’s no evidence of any editing or erasures. I have examined this in minute details, down to the thousandth of a cycle.”
Ginsberg addressed why the voice, widely acknowledged to be Grigorieva’s, sounds so clear, while the voice said to be Gibson’s sounds further away.
“He is the remote party, that is, he is far away coming in over a little speakerphone, where she’s talking into this, equivalent of broadcast microphone,” Ginsberg explained.
However, Arlo West, CEO of Creative Forensic Services, said on “GMA” on Thursday morning that he believed the recordings had been altered.
“The audio files were most certainly edited intentionally and the forensic terminology for this, is tampering,” West said. “The edits that I found would have been done post-recording and are clearly done to redact dialog — which means to intentionally remove words. I can tell there are gaps and edits in several ways by using waveform analysis and zero crossing analysis. These are most certainly digital recordings so there is no tape involved.
“I believe these are professionally done. I think she had help,” West continued. “She clearly was speaking into what we call a large diaphragm microphone. Her voice is very well engineered. She sounds great.”
AccessHollywood.com spoke to attorney Mark Geragos on Thursday afternoon and he gave his own take on the situation.
“Generally what will happen is there’s always going to be an issue as to, number one, authenticity. That can be either the voices on the tape or whether the tapes were manipulated or redacted or spliced or diced in any way. If that is an issue, and if a judge finds that they don’t have [authenticity]…the judge can exclude the tapes,” Geragos told Access. “The second thing is, California is a two party state, which means you have to have consent [among both] parties. There’s an exception in the code section, which allows for exceptions to two party consent if it’s evidence accumulated in the belief that it’s going to be helpful in showing kidnapping, bribery or threats of force or of violence.
“Even if it’s edited or if it’s manipulated in any way… you have a multitude of problems,” Geragos continued. “How do you know it’s not trustworthy because it’s been manipulated? [Second,] if, in fact, these tapes were originally placed and were sealed by the court and now they’re getting leaked, that’s in violation of a court order. So most judges I know go ballistic when that happens.”
According to Geragos, the leaking of the tapes, which Grigorieva has claimed she did not do, could hurt the Russian singer’s case.
“I don’t think it helps at all,” he added.
Thursday’s emergency ex parte custody hearing over the couple’s daughter, Lucia, was closed to the media, but it’s believed Grigorieva’s lawyers will ask the judge to strip Gibson of custody, using the recently released tapes as evidence.
While reps for Gibson have not denied that it is his voice on the recordings, his defense team reportedly may claim the audio was doctored.
As of this morning, Gibson’s rep has not commented to Access Hollywood on the situation.
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