Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend was "in the grip of blinding fear" during his notorious 2010 meltdown.
It was confirmed that Oksana Grigorieva had split from the Hollywood star in April 2010, following the birth of their daughter Lucia in October of the previous year.
She later claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence, with Gibson eventually pleading no contest to a misdemeanour battery charge.
Over the weekend, Grigorieva spoke at the Artists Against Abuse gala in Bridgehampton, New York.
"At the time when it happened to me I was afraid to ask for help, in the grip of blinding fear," RadarOnline.com quotes her as saying.
"I wished I had had someone's help at that time. But I didn't.
"Often, the victims of domestic violence are made to feel as if it was their fault, when it was not."
The event was held to raise money for The Retreat, which helps people who are affected by domestic violence.
According to the site, Grigorieva spoke about the experience she went through with Gibson. He was accused of punching her twice and choking her, but has always denied hitting her with a closed fist.
The actor was handed three years of unsupervised probation after entering his plea and was told to attend 52 weeks of anger management classes.
Russian musician Grigorieva explained she now wants to show women that domestic violence isn't something which should be hidden or ignored.
"As a woman who has experienced the pain and stigma of living through abuse myself, I have come to learn a few important things," she said.
"Domestic abuse happens far more often than people think and that the only way to end it is to shine more light on it - to talk about it openly and courageously."
Following their split, recordings of Gibson using racist and violent language were made public. He was dropped by his talent agency and retreated from the limelight.
In 2011 he finally addressed the tapings, insisting he was taken completely out of context.
"I've never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality - period. I don't blame some people for thinking that though, from the garbage they heard on those leaked tapes, which have been edited," he told deadline.com.
"You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship.
"It's one terribly awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day and doesn't represent what I truly believe or how I've treated people my entire life."
- Cover Media
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