Mel Gibson has struck a plea deal with Los Angeles prosecutors to keep him out of jail over allegations of domestic assault. The actor was expected to be hit with misdemeanor domestic violence charges this week, relating to accusations filed by his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva following their bitter split last year.
The former couple has been locked in a war of words over custody of its baby daughter Lucia, with the Russian singer accusing Gibson of attacking her during a heated argument in January, 2010. But Gibson has now reached an agreement with prosecutors - he will appear in court on Friday, March 11 and plead no contest to the lesser charge of simple battery, instead of corporal injury on a spouse. According to TMZ.com, the actor will only be required to undergo counseling sessions and will not spend time behind bars.
In a statement, his lawyer Blair Berk says, "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. 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."
Gibson separated from his wife of 26 years, Robyn, in 2006 and she filed for divorce in 2009. They have seven children together. The embattled actor traveled to Guatemala on Tuesday, March 8 for a charity trip, but is expected to return to California in time for Friday's March 11 court date. Meanwhile, in related Gibson legal news, officials are still investigating and extortion case involving Gibson and Grigorieva. The movie star claims his ex attempted to extort money out of him by recording an angry Gibson hurling abuse at her in a 2010 phone call. The tape was leaked to the media. Grigorieva maintains she did not leak the recording.