Entertainment & Arts

Don McLean pleads not guilty to assault

Don McLean Image copyright AP
Image caption Don McLean was arrested on 18 January but has always 'vigorously denied' his wife's allegations

American Pie singer Don McLean has entered a not guilty plea in writing to a charge of domestic violence and will not appear in court later this month.

The singer was arrested at his home on 18 January following an emergency 911 call to the police from his wife.

The next court date is 22 February but McLean's lawyer, Walter McKee, said nothing substantial would happen that day as he's already entered a plea.

Mclean has been on bail since his arrest at his home in Camden, Maine.

After his arrest, his wife Patricia filed a handwritten request for protection.

She claimed she feared for her life when she called police in January, writing: "Don terrorised me for four hours, until the 911 call that I think might have saved my life."

The couple later announced through legal representatives that they had "agreed to move forward" and the protection order was dismissed.

The 70-year-old was released from Knox County Jail after posting $10,000 (£7,007) bail.

'Not a villain'

Mr Mclean's wife claims the singer has engaged in a pattern of abuse going back three decades.

The singer has "vigorously denied" his wife's allegations.

Following his arrest, the singer asked his fans not to judge him.

In a statement on his official website, Mr McLean blamed "hard emotional times for my wife, my children and me".

"What is occurring is the very painful breakdown of an almost 30-year relationship.... There are no winners or losers but I am not a villain."

The US singer-songwriter has amassed more than 40 gold and platinum records worldwide during his career.

His most famous hit American Pie topped the Billboard Hot 100 44 years ago.

Mr McLean's original manuscript of the lyrics and notes to American Pie, which was also a UK number one in 1972, sold for $1.2m (£842,000) at a Christie's auction last April.

It was said to have been the third highest price fetched by an American literary manuscript.

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