Don McLean Pleads Guilty to Domestic Violence
Singer Don McLean, who is best known for the iconic hit "American Pie," has pleaded guilty to several charges related to domestic violence stemming from an incident in January.
Police responded to a call at McLean’s home in Camden, Maine, during the early morning of Jan. 18, after his wife Patrisha claimed he had been terrorizing her. The 70-year-old musician was arrested and charged with domestic violence, and spent several hours in jail before posting a $10,000 bond.
McLean was hit with additional charges in February, including threatening, terrorizing, criminal restraint, obstruction and criminal mischief. He initially pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, but as People reports, the singer reversed course and accepted a plea deal in a Maine courtroom on Thursday (July 21). Under the terms of the deal, McLean pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening, criminal mischief and criminal restraint.
McLean's attorney, Walter McKee, says his client will pay $3,000 in court costs, and has to avoid all contact with his wife for the next 12 months. He has also been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in the next 60 days. If McLean complies with all of the terms of the plea deal over the next year, the charges will be dismissed.
McKee says the plea agreement is not an admission of guilt.
"Don has been adamant since day one that he did not do what his now ex-wife said he did," he says in a statement. "But in the end, he decided it was better to just resolve the case now and be done with it by entering pleas with zero jail, zero probation, and only fines."
McLean's wife filed for divorce from the singer in March, citing “adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences.” She alleged years and years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of the singer.
McLean is best known as a folk-rock singer-songwriter, but has also scored some country success. His Chain Lightning album in 1978 included a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” that reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Country chart, as well as a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” and Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”
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