Mel Gibson may have lost this battle, but did he win the war?
On the same day Oksana Grigorieva learned that she won't be charged with trying to extort her ex, Gibson pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor battery Friday for striking Grigorieva last year while she was holding their baby daughter, Lucia.
He was sentenced to three years' probation and 16 hours of community service; ordered to enroll in a 52-week domestic-violence counseling program and obey the terms of a restraining order against him; and fined $400.
But he avoids what would surely have been an embarrassing trial and, provided he behaves himself, jail time.
"I have a good grasp of everything my attorney has discussed with me, yes," Gibson told the judge in court this afternoon.
Grigorieva was not present during the hearing.
"The decision of the District Attorney was made after very careful consideration of all the facts and with complete fairness to all involved," attorneys Daniel Horowitz, Ronald Litz and Martin Garbus said in a statement on her behalf.
"During the investigation we cooperated fully. Ms. Grigorieva spoke numerous times with law enforcement. During those interviews she answered every question that she was asked. Ms.Grigorieva submitted releases for confidential information, waived attorney-client privilege and never invoked her Fifth Amendment rights. Ms. Grigorieva will now concentrate on coparenting Lucia, resuming her charitable work for the children of Chernobyl and moving forward with her life."
L.A. Deputy District Attorney Simone Shay told reporters after court that the plea deal was arrived at with the victim's consent and that delving into the details of the case further would be irrelevant. What's important, she said, is that the agreement works to ensure the safety of the "victim and witnesses."
Shay admitted that a "minor witness" was involved, but of course would not identify the youngster.
And, perhaps preventing future quibbling over the legality of such things, Grigorieva's protection order against Gibson allows her to "record any prohibited communications made by the restrained person."
Per the terms of his plea deal, Gibson's community service will not involve trying to save Charlie Sheen's life. Rather, it will take place at Mending Kids International, which happens to list his ex-wife, Robyn Gibson, as president of the board of directors.
He and Robyn have seven children together between the ages of 12 and 30.
"It is with only [the welfare of his children] 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's attorney, Blair Berk, said in a statement.
—Additional reporting by Ashley Fultz
(Originally published March 11, 2011, at 2:35 p.m. PT)