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Ex-HBO chief pleads no contest to battery

Ex-HBO chief executive Chris Albrecht settled a criminal domestic violence charge Friday, pleading no contest to battery and agreeing to pay a $1,000 fine.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Ex-HBO chief executive Chris Albrecht settled a criminal domestic violence charge Friday, pleading no contest to battery and agreeing to pay a $1,000 fine.

Albrecht lost his job after he was arrested early Sunday outside the MGM Grand hotel-casino, where police reported seeing him “grabbing a white female by the throat with both hands.” The incident occurred after the title fight between boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr., which HBO telecast on a pay-per-view basis.

Albrecht’s girlfriend, Karla Jensen, declined medical treatment and told police she did not want to press charges.

Albrecht’s lawyer, David Chesnoff, appeared before a Las Vegas justice of the peace, who accepted the no-contest plea, ordered the fine, and imposed a six-month suspended sentence with a provision that Albrecht attend domestic violence counseling.

“He’s appreciative that it was resolved quickly, and he feels his treatment by the law enforcement community was fair,” Chesnoff told The Associated Press.

Albrecht, 54, and Jensen, 37, issued statements through a publicist saying both were to blame for what Jensen characterized as a mistake. They said they intend to remain together.

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“My behavior was clearly inappropriate and, in this spirit, I have accepted the judgment of the authorities in Las Vegas,” Albrecht said.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger said it would have been difficult to prosecute the case with Jensen living in California and unwilling to press charges.

On Tuesday, Albrecht acknowledged he had a drinking problem and said he was taking a leave of absence from his job. On Wednesday, he was forced out by HBO owner Time Warner Inc.

His resignation followed a report in the Los Angeles Times that HBO paid a settlement in 1991 of at least $400,000 to a subordinate and former lover who accused Albrecht of shoving and choking her.

Roger and Chesnoff said Albrecht had no previous criminal history.