Gibson avoids jail sentence after pleading “no contest” to battery

Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 12:50 PM IST

London: Mel Gibson, who was accused of striking Oksana Grigorieva during a fight in January 2010, has avoided jail after pleading ‘no contest’ to battery.

He was sentenced to 36 months of probation and ordered to attend a year of domestic violence counseling.

Gibson said little during the hearing except to acknowledge he understood the charge and plea, reported a newspaper.

The Russian musician did not attend the hearing but was represented by one of her lawyers.

The actor-director arrived in court accompanied by his attorney, Blair Berk, who has said Gibson sought to end the case after considering the case`s impact on his children, including an infant daughter with Grigorieva.

Prosecutors charged Gibson after a lengthy investigation into a fight with his then-girlfriend at the actor``s Malibu home.

The complaint accuses Gibson of "wilfully and unlawfully" using force and violence against Grigorieva, a Russian musician.

In a separate decision, prosecutors said they found insufficient evidence to charge Grigorieva with trying to extort Gibson.

The actor made the allegation during custody negotiations with Grigorieva after their break-up last year.

The battery charge was another blow to Gibson`s reputation, which took a major hit after his 2006 arrest for drunken driving. A deputy`s report leaked to the celebrity website TMZ revealed the action star had used anti-Semitic and sexist slurs.

His conviction was later expunged.