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Don McLean Resolves Domestic Violence Case By Paying $3,660 Fine

Don McLean Court Case
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Don McLean has officially closed out his domestic violence case. The singer-songwriter paid a fine of $3,660 on Thursday (July 20) to end the year-and-a-half-long case.

McLean, best known for his song “American Pie,” pleaded guilty in 2016 to six domestic violence charges and was convicted of three of them in a plea deal that deferred the charges if he complied with all conditions, including no contact with his wife of 30 years, Patrisha McLean; completing a mental health evaluation; and no additional crimes committed in the year following his conviction. McLean’s attorney, Walter McKee, addressed the case’s resolution in a statement on Thursday night.

“Today the Knox County Court dismissed the domestic violence assault charge against singer-songwriter Don McLean … This charge was the heart of the charges brought against the singer last year,” McKee reports (quote via the Portland Press Herald). “In short, Mr. McLean, contrary to media reports, did not assault — and all that implies — anyone at any time.”

On Jan. 18, 2016, police were called to McLean’s home in Camden, Maine, where his now-ex-wife Patrisha claims he held her hostage and inflicted harm on her. McLean has maintained his innocence from the beginning but accepted the plea bargain to bring resolution to the case more quickly.

“Don has been adamant since day one that he did not do what his now-ex-wife said he did,” McKee stated in 2016, “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.”

After releasing his debut album, Tapestry, in 1970, Don McLean scored the biggest hit of his career with “American Pie” one year later. In 1980, he earned a Top 10 hit on the country charts with “Crying,” originally recorded by Roy Orbison, from his Chain Lightning album; he also covered Hank Williams‘ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” on Chain Lightning. McLean and his wife had been married since 1987 and have two children

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