Mel Gibson seeks plea deal to end domestic violence case 'in the interests of his children'

Faced with the prospect of a domestic violence trial, and the possibility of jail time, Mel Gibson opted to seek a plea bargain.

The Hollywood star was accused by his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva of striking her during an argument which took place last year.

His lawyer released a statement saying he was worried about the detrimental effect a prolonged and public court battle would have on his eight children.

Attorney Blair Berk said that sometimes fighting a charge can result in a heavy "personal price" for the defendant and in her client's case exercising his right to a fair hearing would have been accompanied by an "enormous media circus".


She added: "Mel's priority throughout all of this has been that the best interests of his young daughter Lucia (by Oksana) 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."

The Braveheart actor will plead no contest – the equivalent of pleading 'guilty' – to a charge of domestic battery.

Under the agreement, he would avoid going to prison, but would be placed on probation and ordered to enrol in a year-long domestic violence program. Mel is due to appear in court on Friday.

Meanwhile, the LA County District Attorney's office has officially dismissed the extortion case against his ex Oksana.

The 44-year-old musician had been accused of trying to get money from Mel after recording their private conversations.

The pair, pictured two months before they split in April 2010, filed restraining orders against each other after their break-up.

They are currently fighting for custody of their two-year-old daughter Lucia.