Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:45 PM on 21st March 2011
Mel Gibson is to begin his community service soon with a children’s charity in Los Angeles – and has already been given a glowing testimony from one of the parents involved.
The Braveheart actor pleaded no contest last week to charges arises from his alleged assault last year of former partner Oksana Grigorieva, 40, and was sentenced to 16 hours of community service.
Now, it’s been revealed that he will undertake the sentence at his ex-wife Robyn Gibson’s charity, Mending Kids International, and one parent in particular has come out in support of the actor’s attempt at a ‘brand new start’.
Scroll down to watch the trailer for Mel’s new movie The Beaver…
Thumbs up: One of the parents at charity Mending Kids International, where Mel Gibson is to do his community service, said he had no problem with the actor – seen here in last week’s police mugshot – being there
Parent James Nicol told TMZ that generous Mel had already helped fund expensive spinal surgery for their Ethiopian-born son Berhanu.
Mr Nichol said: ‘If Mel was coming over to our house to play ball with my son, I would not be the least bit concerned.’
Father of eight Mel went to the El Segundo Police Department in Southern California last week to turn himself in and have his mug shot taken and fingerprints collected.
He had been charged the week before with misdemeanor battery for allegedly assaulting ex Oksana, the mother of his youngest child, 18-month-old daughter Lucia.
Fair cop: Mel’s police booking sheet from last week
Gibson escaped a jail sentence after pleading ‘no contest’ to the charge.
Instead he was sentenced to 36 months informal probation along with 16 hours community service.
He was also fined a total of $570 and ordered to undertake a year’s
domestic violence counselling, along with a year of mental health
counselling, with the therapist he has been seeing since January.
Alleged victim: Oksana Grigorieva, pictured last week in Los Angeles, currently has custody of their daughter Lucia
His ‘no contest’ plea is not the same as an admission of guilt, and cannot be used against him in any later civil case.
avoided jail after striking a plea deal with prosecutors, who said they
offered the deal to protect the victim – Grigorieva – and a ‘minor
witness’ who would have testified in the case.
Loving and sensitive: Jodie Foster, seen here with Gibson in a scene from their upcoming film The Beaver, defended her co-star and friend
Meanwhile, Gibson’s new movie The Beaver premiered last week in the U.S.
film is somewhat improbably about a troubled husband and executive
adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.
Director Jodie Foster, 48, who also stars in the film, also defended Gibson.
Comeback: Jodie and Mel – with the puppet in question – in a still from new movie
She told the Hollywood Reporter: ‘He’s so incredibly loving and sensitive, he really is.
‘He is the most loved actor I have ever worked with on a movie. And he’s not saintly, and he’s got a big mouth, and he’ll do gross things your nephew would do.
‘But I knew the minute I met him that I would love him the rest of my life.’