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Jul 22, 10:56 AM EDT

'American Pie' singer McLean takes plea in assault case


CAMDEN, Maine (AP) -- "American Pie" singer Don McLean has admitted to domestic violence assault against his estranged wife, and will avoid jail time.

The singer-songwriter pleaded guilty in court Thursday to the charge and related counts. His lawyer says the punishment will be a $3,000 fine if he stays out of trouble for a year.

McLean, of Camden, Maine, was arrested in January and initially pleaded not guilty.

A lawyer for Patrisha McLean said in March that his client was filing for divorce and that the legal papers cited "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences." The two had been married 30 years.

Don McLean's divorce lawyer denied those characterizations on McLean's behalf at the time.

McLean's original manuscript and notes to "American Pie" sold at auction for $1.2 million last year.

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