updated 03/09/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/09/2011 AT 12:45 PM ET
To avoid a messy battle in court, Mel Gibson has reached a plea deal with Los Angeles prosecutors in his domestic violence case, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
Gibson will plead no contest in court Friday to a charge of misdemeanor battery of his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, and will face no jail time, the source confirms. He’ll likely be ordered to complete some form of counseling and serve probation as well.
“I know from almost 20 years as a criminal defense lawyer that sometimes justice can come for a client at too high a personal price,” Gibson’s lawyer Blair Berk said in a statement Wednesday. “That is particularly so for Mel, whose right to due process can only be exercised in this case with an enormous media circus attached. Mel’s priority throughout all of this has been that the best interests of his young daughter Lucia 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.”
Grigorieva alleged that Gibson punched her in the head and face more than once at the actor’s Malibu home in January 2010. Gibson later admitted to only slapping her to restrain her from shaking their baby Lucia while the couple were arguing.
“I slapped Oksana one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality,” Gibson stated in a legal declaration. “I did not slap her hard. I was just trying to shock her so that she would stop screaming, continuing shaking Lucia back and forth.”
Gibson, meanwhile, has alleged that Grigorieva tried to extort him for millions, although it isn’t immediately clear if she’ll be charged with a crime.
A source close to Gibson tells PEOPLE, “Mel is relieved that he is sparing his family any further anguish and that he can put this behind him.”
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