An attorney for Oksana Grigorieva had been seeking a ruling that would limit what sheriff's detectives could look for on the computer, which the Russian-born musician said contains loads of personal information, including videos, letters and photos.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said he could not dictate what detectives search for, but that they may be barred from using certain information if a criminal case against Grigorieva is filed.
"For me to supervise or run their investigation would be improper," Gordon said. A search warrant he approved for the computer's contents was not overly broad and Grigorieva's information would be protected, he said.
Detectives will be working off a copy of the computer's hard drive because Grigorieva's computer has been returned to her.
Gibson, 54, has claimed Grigorieva attempted to extort him during a contentious custody battle over their infant daughter. Sheriff's detectives also have investigated Grigorieva's claims that the actor-director physically abused her during a fight in January.
No charges have been filed, and no timeline was given on when the extortion investigation would conclude.
Grigorieva's attorney, Daniel Horowitz, said detectives wouldfind information on the computer that would exonerate his client.
"My entire life is on that computer," Grigorieva, 40, said after the hearing. In addition to personal writings and music, the computer also contained videos of Gibson and other information about Academy Award winner, she said.
Horowitz wrote in a court filing that there was nothing salacious on the computer.
The copy of the computer's information may be returned to Grigorieva if she is not charged, Gordon said.
Grigorieva repeatedly professed her innocence Thursday, at one point stopping a county attorney who had moments earlier described her as a "suspect" in court.
"I'm not an extortionist," she said. "That's all I wanted to say."