American singer Don McLean paid $3,660 at the Knox County court in Rockland on Thursday to end a domestic violence case against him that dates back to January 2016.
The charges stem from an incident with McLean’s ex-wife Patrisha on Jan. 18 of last year, in which she later alleged that McLean had pinned her down and hit her for hours, leaving bruises on different parts of her body and refusing to let her to leave their shared residence on Hope Road in Camden, terrorizing her and threatening to kill her.
After the incident she called the police. McLean, 71, was arrested that evening and charged with domestic violence assault, criminal threatening, criminal mischief, criminal restraint, terrorizing, and obstructing the report of a crime.
Patrisha, who has publicly identified herself as the victim in the case, filed for divorce last March, two months after the incident. About a year later she was granted a new protection-from-abuse order from McLean.
In July of 2016, McLean pled guilty to six charges: domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening, criminal mischief and criminal restraint. As part of a plea agreement, the other two charges — obstructing the report of a crime and terrorizing — were dismissed.
The folk singer faced up to a year in prison. However, under conditions of the deferred disposition agreement between the district attorney’s office and McLean’s attorney, Walter McKee, if McLean committed no other additional crimes during the subsequent year, he would not serve any jail time. Additionally, the assault charge would be dropped and he would be required to pay fines on the remaining three convictions — $1,000 for each, plus fees.
McLean has insisted during the entire process that he is innocent. At the July 21, 2016 hearing, McKee told the judge, “Don has been adamant since Day One that he did not do what [the woman] said he did. 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, under the conditions of the agreement, was also required to have his mental health evaluated and receive counseling for anger management and for domestic abuse.
In an emailed statement, McKee indicated Thursday that the court’s decision to dismiss the domestic violence assault charge was “at the heart of the charges brought against the singer last year.”
He added that “contrary to media reports, [McLean] did not assault — and all that implies — anyone at any time.”
“Mr. McLean is an international music legend and has represented America around the world for almost 50 years. Although great damage was done to his career and reputation, he has prevailed on this charge, which was the most serious and damaging of all the charges.”