Mel Gibson has escaped a jail sentence for his altercation with his then lover, Oksana Grigorieva, in January 2010.
The 55-year-old actor has had his plea bargain of no contest to a charge of simple battery accepted by a Los Angeles court. That is a less serious charge than corporal injury on a spouse, which is the charge Gibson originally faced.
The charges relate to an altercation between Mel and his former lover, Russian singer Oksana, with whom he has a 17-month old daughter, Lucia, on January 6 last year. Gibson had previously admitted in writing to slapping Oksana on the cheek, because he said she was hysterical.
Gibson therefore previously denied the charges but according to his lawyer, Blair Berk, he is willing to admit to this lesser charge to avoid a lengthy court battle. It is likely his punishment will be probation and counseling.
“I know from almost 20 years as a criminal defense lawyer that sometimes justice can come for a client at too high a personal price,” Blair said.
So Gibson reportedly accepted the plea bargain in order to avoid a media circus around the case. He felt that to do so was in the best interests of his 7-month old daughter, Lucia, whom he fathered with Oksana, and his seven older kids, to ex-wife, Robin.
More court battles lie ahead, for the custody of Lucia and in an extortion case that Gibson brought against his former girlfriend, Oksana, who allegedly demanded $15 million not to disclose audio tapes of his angry rants and apparent threats to her.
What do you think? Is Mel Gibson innocent? Was he right to accept this plea bargain?