A Santa Clarita resident who claims Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend caused a 2015 crash that left the plaintiff with lingering injuries testified this week that the woman’s young daughter, who was fathered by the actor, was with her in the car at the time of the collision.
Meghan Watts said when she got out of her Volkswagen Passat after the accident in Burbank, she encountered Oksana Grigorieva and asked if she and her daughter, Lucia, then 5 years old, were hurt.
“She said that they were doing OK,’’ said Watts, who was 26 years old at the time of the accident.
Watts did not say if she recognized Grigorieva, a Russian pianist and singer who had a son with British actor Timothy Dalton in 1997.
Watts told jurors that she took the day off from her secretarial job at an appraiser’s office in San Fernando on Jan. 16, 2015, to take flowers to the workplace of her mother, who was celebrating her birthday. She said she was driving east on the Ventura (134) Freeway, just east of the Hollywood (170) Freeway about 3 p.m., when she saw a freeway traffic advisory sign warning of an accident ahead. Watts said she slowed and eventually stopped, as did the driver of another car behind her.
However, Grigorieva, driving behind the car that was trailing Watts’ Passat, failed to stop and hit the car ahead of her, pushing it forward into her vehicle, Watts said.
Watts said she had her seatbelt on and was looking through the rear-view mirror when she realized impact was imminent.
“I put my foot on the brake and gripped my steering wheel,’’ Watts said.
Watts said the three drivers pulled to the right shoulder and exchanged information. They went their separate ways as a fire truck headed to the first accident that had caused the slowdown, Watts said, adding that she went to her boyfriend’s home and spent the weekend.
She said she canceled the couple’s dinner plans.
“I was too worked up to go,’’ Watts said.
By the following Monday, she had pain in her neck, lower back and right knee, she said.
Watts said her pain became steadily worse and that she began seeing a chiropractor three days a week, where her treatment included electrical stimulation. She said she reluctantly asked for assistance at work to do chores she routinely performed before, including moving boxes.
“I don’t like asking people for help,’’ Watts said.
Grigorieva’s lawyer, Rajeev Patel, said Watts initially complained of only neck pain, but later expanded her injury claim after seeing the chiropractor and an attorney.
Patel also said he does not believe some of Watts’ symptoms are related to the accident.
Grigorieva, 48, took notes as she listened to the testimony.
She gave birth to her daughter in October 2009. She and Gibson ended their relationship a year later and Grigorieva filed a restraining order against the actor to keep him away from her and their child. Gibson also obtained a restraining order against Grigorieva on June 25, 2010.
In August 2011, Gibson settled with Grigorieva and she was awarded $750,000, joint legal custody and a house in Sherman Oaks to live with their daughter until she turns 18.