Report: Mel Gibson May Avoid Jail Time with Plea Deal

Celebrity News Mar. 9, 2011 AT 12:15PM
Report: Mel Gibson May Avoid Jail Time with Plea Deal Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage.com

Mel Gibson may be safe from the slammer.

The actor's lawyer Blair Berk tells TMZ that Gibson will appear in court Friday and plead no contest to simple battery. This is a significantly lesser charge than corporal injury on a spouse, and TMZ, citing sources, reports that the star could avoid jail time altogether.

The Braveheart star, 55, is accused of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, 40. The two estranged parents have been in a nasty, very public custody battle for their 16-month-old daughter Lucia. Over the spring and summer, taped phone conversations between the warring exes-- in which Gibson famously spewed racial epithets and vicious threats against Grigorieva-- stormed the web.

PHOTOS: Mel and Oksana, the way they were

Gibson is also the father of seven other children by his soon-to-be ex-wife of 28 years Robyn Moore. The two split in 2009, but their divorce has yet to be finalized.  

PHOTOS: Hollywood's ugliest divorces

"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," Berk explained. "That is particularly so for Mel, whose right to due process can only be exercised in this case with an enormous media circus attached."

"Mel's priority throughout all of this has been the best interests of his young daughter Lucia and the rest of his children be put first in any decisions made," Gibson's lawyer continued. "It is only with 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."

PHOTOS: Mel's many meltdowns

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