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Mel Gibson agrees to plea deal on domestic violence charges, avoids jail [Updated]

March 9, 2011 | 10:30 am

Oksana Grigorieva and Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic violence, a law enforcement source told The Times on Wednesday.

The plea would end a months-long investigation into whether Gibson struck ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

Officials have said that case is closely tied to another investigation into an extortion case involving Gibson and Grigorieva. Prosecutors are still considering that case.

Gibson and Grigorieva also are locked in a bitter custody dispute over their year-old daughter, Lucia.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, said if Gibson does plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge, he would face counseling but no jail time.

The source said the plea could be announced as early as Wednesday.

[Updated at 11:13 a.m.: Gibson’s attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement saying Gibson wanted a quick resolution to the case for the sake of his children and because of the “personal price” he would pay with the media attention that the case would have drawn.

“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,” she said in the statement. “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.”]

[Updated, 9:58 p.m.: Other sources close to the case say Gibson will actually plead no contest to the charges. A no contest plea has the same effect in criminal court as a guilty plea.]


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-- Jack Leonard

Photo: Oksana Grigorieva and Mel Gibson. Credit: Los Angeles Times