Avatar star avoids jail as assault charges dismissed

Sam Worthington has reportedly been arrested. Photo/AP
Sam Worthington has reportedly been arrested. Photo/AP

Actor Sam Worthington has had assault charges against him dismissed by a US court.

Worthington, 37 will avoid jail after a conditional dismissal deal was quietly entered into on April 8, the New York Daily News reports.

The Avatar star was not in the Manhattan Criminal Court when his attorney Stacey Richman accepted the deal on his behalf.

He submitted a waiver through his lawyer that he was "contractually committed in Europe at this time," and thanked the judge and prosecutors for working with his schedule.

"I understand that as long as I continue to lead a law abiding life, this matter will be dismissed and sealed," Worthington wrote in a signed statement.

There are no additional requirements under the deal.

Worthington was arrested for clocking celebrity photographer Sheng Li, also 37, during an altercation involving the actor's partner Lara Bingle in Greenwich Village on February 23.

He told arresting police he was "just protecting my girlfriend".

Li and Worthington were both charged with assault and harassment but Li, who was offered the same deal, declined it when he last appeared in court.

He vowed to fight the charges insisting he was the victim of hot-headed celebrities.

His lawyer Mark Heller instead called for charges against Bingle, who was not arrested.

The offer, known as an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, is standard for most first-time offenders in low-level cases.

Prosecutors considered Worthington's declaration that the action was justified, a source said.

- AAP

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