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Why on Earth would Oksana Grigorieva turn down $15 million?

Because under a deal she nearly signed, but ultimately left on the table, she would have had to give Mel Gibson unsupervised visitation with daughter Lucia.

Apparently that was enough for the actor’s ex to back out.

We told you earlier how, during her mediation with Mel in May, Oksana agreed to a $15 million package in which she would keep all “evidence” confidential.

By evidence, we mean her secret phone tapes, six of which have leaked online this month, and presumably the Mel Gibson text messages leaked Thursday.

The Oksana-Mel saga has taken one strange turn after another.

The deal didn’t go through, and here’s why:

Oksana Grigorieva felt Lucia, now eight months, was in danger and would turn down “any amount of money” to keep Mel from unsupervised visitation.

Asked by TMZ Oksana what she wanted to get out of her custody battle with Mel, she responded, “Just my child. I’m fighting for the life of my child.”

Her claims of the star’s abuse – against her, Lucia and her son Sacha – have all been well-publicized in recent weeks. Gibson denies all assault claims.

Oksana also had a civil lawsuit prepared and ready to file against Mel Gibson back in May, in the event they could not strike a deal she considered fair.

Eric George, Oksana’s then-lawyer, drafted and threatened to file the lawsuit, alleging assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The parties agreed in principle to a $15 million package for Oksana, and once outline of the agreement was signed, George tabled the idea of suing.

The lawsuit apparently made no specific mention of the Mel Gibson tapes, though both sides were aware of “the 800 pound elephant in the room.”

Interestingly, one would imagine the tapes could have been used leverage to settle the lawsuit after it was filed. Now that leverage is long gone.

Oksana denies leaking the tapes, and Mel faces a police investigation for domestic abuse. Cops are also looking at whether Oksana extorted him.