Oksana Grigorieva

Oksana Grigorieva is a Russian-American pianist and composer known for her high profile relationships with celebrities, such as Timothy Dalton and Mel Gibson, among others.

She was born Oksana Petrovna Chernukha in the Soviet Union. Her grandparents were WWII veterans, decorated for their courage in the war against the Nazis. Her father, Petr Chernukha, and mother, Ludmila Grigorieva-Chernukha, were music professors, both are now retired and are living in a suburb of Moscow, Russia. Her sister, Natalie, twelve years younger, is living in Russia with her parents.

Young Oksana was fond of music and movies. She began piano lessons at the age of three under the tutelage of her mother. At the age of six, Oksana composed her first piano piece while watching movies on TV. As a teenager, she was obsessed with movies by Andrei Tarkovsky, and fashioned herself as a film composer. She was also fascinated by Western culture. Watching Timothy Dalton on Russian TV, both Oksana and her mother were charmed by the actor, as was the majority of the female population in Russia. At that time, Oksana was sharing a two-room flat with her parents in a public apartment building on Lenin Street in Saransk, and hard life in a small Soviet town became too dull for her. But her journey from Russian poverty to Hollywood royalty was a long and winding road.

During the 1980s, she studied piano at a local school of music, then continued her piano studies at the Kazan conservatory in Russia, albeit she did not graduate from the conservatory, abruptly ending her studies there after three years. Oksana was a straight-A student, keen to hone her English and prepare herself for better life in the affluent West. But it was her personal life in Russia that caused the most troubles to her and her parents, because, by the age of 18, she became so attractive and desired by many, so that men of all ages could not resist from stalking her and some young men were even caught while breaking into her bedroom window to get her. Seeking protection, she married a fellow student, who shared her desires to live in the West, but the marriage did not work and was dissolved soon. While the Soviet Union was falling apart and the situation became increasingly hard for all people, she began looking for a better place in the world. Her parents did not blame her for having a dream about a better life beyond the poverty and grim of their small town, so they scrambled all their savings and paid for her visa and a flight to London, thus unlocking the path to her dream.

At the age of 20, Oksana left the Soviet Union for England. For several months, she did a string of lowly jobs cleaning and care-giving for the elderly in Kent, and also gave free piano performances at various churches. In 1992, she married Nicholas Rowland, a British artist who was 19 years older, albeit the marriage was dissolved soon, it still allowed her to stay in the UK. During her first years in England, Oksana studied piano at the Royal College of Music in London. At that time, she supported herself working as a piano teacher for children, and also was a part-time waitress at a London restaurant near Buckingham Palace. There, she was spotted by the royal photographer, Patrick Lichfield. Soon her photos were in various fashion magazines. On her modeling gig for the 1993 royal calendar, Oksana was wearing, among other things, her Magesty’s coat and one of the special dresses originally designed for Princess Diana.

In 1995, while interpreting for the Russian director, Nikita Mikhalkov, at the London Film festival, Oksana met Timothy Dalton. Soon Mr. Dalton, then in his 50s, and an attractive film star widely-known as “James Bond”, invited Oksana to live together at his homes in Chiswick, London and in West Hollywood. The two also traveled together in the Caribbean. Oksana’s first child, son Alexander, with Timothy Dalton, was born in London on August 7, 1997. At that time, the ex-James Bond who is also a good friend of President Bill Clinton, took Oksana to the White House and, soon, she sent her parents a photo showing her and Dalton together with the Clintons, standing on the White House lawn. That was the time when the Clintons were dealing with their own situation, so Mr. Dalton came to show the Clintons his support and brought Oksana along.

At first, the news about Oksana’s relationship with the “James Bond” star caused much trouble for her parents in Russia, because they were surrounded by people living in dire poverty, so their flat was burglarized three times and their shop was burned down. Dalton’s heart moved, and he sent Oksana’s parents a check, so they left the troubled town and visited Oksana with Dalton and their son in Hollywood. The parents approved of their daughter’s civil union with the British actor. A few years later, their union ended, and Oksana, with her son, settled in Los Angeles, California. There, she made a name for herself as a songwriter, when “Un Dia Liegara”, a tune she wrote for Josh Groban, appeared on his 2006 album, “Awake”, and became a hit.

Living in California, Oksana Grigorieva continued writing songs, she was also giving performances at an upscale Russian restaurant. There, in 2007, she met Mel Gibson, who was then already separated from his wife. Oksana was more a symptom than a cause of Mel Gibson’s marriage disintegration. Gibson was apparently so smitten that he invited Oksana to move in to his Malibu home in the fall of 2007. Later, he gave Oksana a cameo role in some hospital scenes in Edge of Darkness (2010). In 2008, Mel Gibson’s company, “Icon Records”, employed Oksana Grigorieva as a musician.

Ms. Grigorieva and Mr. Gibson had a relationship that lasted about three years. In the Spring of 2009, Oksana was pregnant with Mel Gibson’s child, and the couple made several high profile appearances at various red carpet events. At that time, Oksana with her son Alexander moved in to a home in Sherman Oaks, bought for her by Mel Gibson’s company. She and Mel Gibson became the parents of a girl, Lucia, born on October 30, 2009 in Los Angeles. The baby was born prematurely and required special attention, so Oksana’s mother, Ludmila, came from Russia to Los Angeles to help Oksana with the baby.

Continuing her career as a singer-songwriter, Oksana Grigorieva recorded a solo album produced by Mel Gibson, where Mr. Gibson is also a co-author in Oksana’s two songs. She also signed a contract with Mr. Gibson’s production company, “Icon Records”, for making four of her songs into musical videos.

During the year 2009 and in the beginning of 2010, Oksana and Mel Gibson had several high profile appearances at various red carpet events in America and Europe, and their relationship looked beautiful. After their baby was born, they were seen happily traveling with the baby in Spain and France, visiting museums, such as the Louvre in Paris, and attending private receptions and opening parties promoting the latest movie starring Mel Gibson.

But something happened between Oksana and Mel in early 2010. The two suddenly became bitter and hard on each other, revealing their previously hidden irreconcilable differences. They finally split up in April of 2010, and soon the lovely images of their happiness were replaced by their troubled voices from secretly taped phone calls. Eventually, their love game transformed into something else and fell in the hands of their lawyers, doctors and advisers whose crafty professions depend on milking the troubled rich and famous. Now the Russian pianist was at the center of a media storm over her relationship with the Lethal Weapon (1987) star. Her life became complicated, with a custody battle over their child and a police investigation on the back of taped controversial heated conversations between her and “Mad Max”.

Meanwhile, Oksana Grigorieva turned to another ex for support – “James Bond” star, Timothy Dalton, who is the father of her son, Alexander. During the year 2010, Mr. Dalton was seen stopping by her Sherman Oaks home, still owned by Gibson’s company. In November 2010, when Oksana’s baby daughter, Lucia, had her first birthday celebration, Timothy Dalton came to the party with gifts and flowers. But Mel Gibson did not come to his daughter’s party at her mother’s place, because he was under a temporary restraining order for domestic violence. Oksana also received professional help from Svetlana Belyaeva, a famous Moscow University therapist.

On November 17, Oksana and her lawyer, Martin Garbus, a well-known attorney, had an hour-long interview with CNN star Larry King. Grigorieva spoke candidly about claims she was beaten by the father of her child. She opened up about the allegedly abusive relationship, claiming she feared for her life when her ex reportedly struck her in the face, while she was holding their daughter in her arms, during a heated argument in January. Although Mel Gibson has admitted in court documents that he “slapped” Oksana in the face with his hand, his lawyers still want Los Angeles court Judge Scott Gordon to grant Gibson custody of Lucia and only allow Grigorieva monitored visits during the day.

As a loving mother of her children, Oksana Grigorieva says that she is looking forward to giving her daughter piano lessons, just like her own mother taught her years ago, when she was a child. She also gives music lessons to her teenage son, Alexander, who is an aspiring guitarist and songwriter.

Oksana Grigorieva supports the Chernobyl Foundation for Children. She donates to charities in Russia and Ukraine. In February of 2010, she co-sponsored a group of medical doctors from America and Europe that visited Ukraine and provided medical help to children with special needs. Her latest music album is dedicated to support children with genetic defects.

Oksana Grigorieva and her two children are residents of Los Angeles County, California.

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