Mel Gibson plea expected — for the kids' sake [Poll]
Good news for those who wondered if the Mel Gibson-Oksana Grigorieva drama would ever come to an end: The actor is expected to plead guilty or no contest this week to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge that would slap him with counseling but no jail time, L.A. Now said Wednesday.
Why now? For the sake of his kids, his attorney Blair Berk said in a statement, and to slam the brakes on the "enormous media circus" that would continue to surround the situation. Gibson has been under investigation for months on allegations of domestic violence involving a Jan. 6 altercation in which Grigorieva alleged he hit her while she was holding their child.
"Mel's priority throughout all of this has been that the best interests of his young daughter Lucia and the rest of his children be put first in any decisions made," Berk said. "It is with only that in mind that he asked me to approach the district attorney with a proposal that would bring all of this to an immediate end."
Much dirty laundry has already been aired, including the explosive tapes of a ranting Gibson that went public in July as well as revealing e-mails and text messages that later shed light on secret negotiations that failed to keep the tapes under wraps. More of the same was likely to have come out in a prolonged court battle, which Gibson apparently decided against fighting.
If those two loose ends were tied up, custody of Lucia would be the last action item on the couple's messy-breakup agenda.
For the record, 9:20 a.m. March 10: This post and its headline originally said Gibson would plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence. However, additional sources told L.A. Now later on Wednesday that the plea could be "no contest," which in criminal court has the same effect as a guilty plea.
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Mel Gibson in Santa Monica in January 2010. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.