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Mel Gibson is sombre and thoughtful as he pleads no contest to battery charge

14 MARCH 2011

Can Hollywood's former blue-eyed boy earn redemption?

Mel Gibson is hoping to start a new chapter in his life after pleading "no contest" to a misdemeanour battery charge at the weekend.

The troubled Hollywood star was placed on probation for 36 months and ordered to attend a year of domestic violence and mental health counselling.

He will also perform 16 hours of community service at Mending Kids International, a charity which lists his ex-wife, Robyn, as president of the board of directors.

 

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A misdeamour charge is generally considered to be a lesser criminal act than a felony charge in the US.

Mel was accused of "wilfully and unlawfully" using force and violence against former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of 17-month-old Lucia – one of his eight children.

During the hearing, the 55-year-old actor looked sombre and spoke politely to the judge.

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"I have a good grasp of everything my attorney has discussed with me, yes," he told Judge Stephanie Sautner.

His ex chose to stay away. Afterwards, her lawyers said: "Ms. Grigorieva will now concentrate on co-parenting Lucia, resuming her charitable work for the children of Chernobyl and moving forward with her life."

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