Tennis broadcaster Justin Gimelstob pleaded no contest Monday to a felony battery charge for a Halloween attack on a former friend and was sentenced to three years probation and 60 hours of community labor after a judge reduced the offense to a misdemeanor.
Gimelstob, 41, was accused of attacking venture capitalist Randall Kaplan, who was trick-or-treating with his wife and 2-year-old child in West Los Angeles. Gimelstob surrendered to authorities after the alleged attack and was released on $50,000 bail.
The day after the attack, Kaplan went to court to obtain a restraining order against Gimelstob, alleging the former tennis player and doubles champion struck him more than 50 times on the head and face while threatening to kill him.
In addition to the probation and community service, Gimelstob was also ordered to attend 52 weeks of anger management classes, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Kaplan claimed Gimelstob had threatened him prior to the attack because of his friendship with the tennis commentator’s estranged wife, The Times reported.
Gimelstob posted a statement on his Facebook page in December saying he was looking forward “to presenting the true and complete facts concerning this matter, not only about what really happened that night, but also about the long history of Mr. Kaplan’s behavior and toxic interference” in his life. He promised to mount a vigorous defense.
However, on Monday, Gimelstob, who teamed with Venus Williams to win the 1998 French Open mixed doubles title, said he accepted responsibility for the attack and that there is “no place for physical violence in society,” according to The Times.
Both Kaplan and his wife addressed the court, with Madison Kaplan saying she blamed witnessing her husband being attacked in front of their daughter for a miscarriage she suffered.
“What type of person does this in front of children,” she asked.