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'American Pie' singer admits wife assault

Associated Press Associated Press 23/07/2016

American Pie singer Don McLean has admitted domestic violence assault against his estranged wife, and will avoid jail time.

The singer-songwriter pleaded guilty in a Maine court on Thursday to the charge and related counts.

His lawyer says the punishment will be a $US3000 ($A4000) 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 characterisations on McLean's behalf at the time.

McLean's original manuscript and notes to American Pie sold at auction for $US1.2 million last year.

* National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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