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04.21.09

The Inside Scoop on Mel Gibson's Russian Doll

The Russian tabloids portray Oksana Pochepa—Mel Gibson's self-proclaimed mistress—as a nymphomaniac, while Moscow's big newspapers wonder why we care.

Mel Gibson—now in hiding from the press at his $26 million Costa Rican ranch—is reportedly in the process of divorcing Robyn Moore, his wife of 28 years. The couple has already been separated for more than two years, however, partially due to a mysterious mistress named “Oksana.” Several Oksanas have been ID’d by tabloids as Gibson’s lover, including 39-year-old actress/composer Oksana Grigorieva (on Gibson’s record label), another composer named Oksana Kolesnikova, and finally, 24-year-old Russian pop star Oksana Pochepa, who recently told British paper The Sun that she traveled with Gibson to Costa Rica and kept a diary of the affair.

“She just loved sex. She had her first experience when she was in the ninth grade and could not stop afterward. It was like fitness for her.”

Gibson has denied the affair, but Pochepa’s reveal stands to make her a news fixture in her home country—at least in the tabloids. Russian glossies have jumped on the story, while major newspapers seem to have taken the high road when it comes to Oksana coverage.

The Moscow Times, the country’s leading English-language newspaper, did not feature Oksana when the news broke. The St. Petersburg Times is too busy covering the latest affair between Putin and Medvedev. Kommersant shows an error when you search both Oksana and Gibson’s name. Russia Today went through the motions to speak with Pochepa’s press agent, Elena Samoilova, but was shut down: “It’s an overblown story and for now we have no comment. Oksana is currently in Germany with concerts. When she is back to Russia, she’ll unveil the whole information and tell the truth as it is.”

There is one Russian publication that is all over the gritty Pochepa beat—the Moscow version of US Weekly, Pravda.ru. The tabloid claims that Pochepa is a nymphomaniac: “Sex is the most important thing for her. She had a great deal of partners, although she was not like a prostitute,” a friend said. “She just loved sex. She had her first experience when she was in the ninth grade and could not stop afterward. It was like fitness for her.”

Pravda reports that Pochepa was born into a middle-class family and never liked to play with girlie toys like dolls; she would stuff them into her grandmother’s closet. Instead, Oksana began “collecting men” when she was 14, documenting her affairs and adventures in a secret sex diary.

Her former classmate, Sergei, said he was shocked when Oksana showed her sex diary to him: “She put down the story of every love affair that she had and described all her sex life in detail there. She described her feelings and emotions in that journal, too,” he said.

Later, she became a pop star and called herself “Shark.” Pravda also reports that Oksana used to be heavy, and her dreams to sing encouraged her to shed the pounds. Those closest to her knew she was having an affair but didn’t know who the man was.

“She told me that she lived in the States for about six months,” a friend told Pravda. “She had an affair there with someone. But I could never imagine that it would be Mel Gibson. She is a shark, definitely. A shark hunting for big fish.”

So is Gibson really sleeping with the 24-year-old? Maybe—but the Russian press doesn’t offer many solutions.

Oksana did confirm to Russia Today, “I’m Mel’s Russian doll. I’m in love with him and it’s a mutual feeling. I hope our love is real and long-lasting,” with what can only be imagined as eyelashes batting and clasped hands.

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Michelle Vyadro is a junior producer at The Daily Beast.