Credit: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov

Mel Gibson appeared in court today to plead no contest to misdemeanor battery in connection to an incident in 2010 involving ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva — and managed to avoid jail time. Under the plea deal, Gibson must complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling in a program he’s already enrolled in (though his previous sessions will not count towards the 52 weeks), and must perform 16 hours of community service with the organization Mending Kids International. Though the misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of one year in jail, Gibson will serve no time under the deal.

Gibson’s attorney, Blair Berk, made it clear during the actor’s hearing that he was not entering a “no contest” plea as an admission of guilt, but doing so “because it’s in the best interest of his children.” Grigorieva, with whom Gibson has a 1-year-old daughter, Lucia, was not in the courtroom, having waved her appearance.

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