Assi Dayan Escapes Jail Term for Attacking Former Partner

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court sentenced actor and director Assi Dayan to a suspended sentence yesterday for attacking his former romantic partner. Judge Zion Kapah ordered Dayan to pay the woman NIS 2,000 and sign a promissory note for NIS 5,000 not to commit physical attacks or threats.

The judge imposed an eight-month sentence if Dayan commits a physical attack during the next three years and a four-month sentence should there be threats. Kapah also ordered Dayan, 63, to undergo psychiatric care for a year and take regular urine tests to identify drugs.

Dayan was convicted of beating his partner, pulling her hair, and, 24 hours later, pushing her and waving a kitchen knife in her face. He also chased her, threatened to butcher her and beat her on the back, causing bruising.

The judge noted that Dayan was unaware that his partner was pregnant, and that he did not attack her with a knife, as had been alleged earlier.

However, Kapah said that "the infractions the accused has been convicted of are serious, no woman's dignity or her body are forfeit, and punishment in such cases should send a clear message."

The judge said that despite Dayan's fame, the probation report revealed a "sorry and difficult life." The judge said Dayan's violence was unusual and stemmed from an overdose of Ritalin, adding that it was as if "there were two entities in him simultaneously."

The judge said Dayan was moving slowly but surely toward rehabilitation.

As he left the courtroom, Dayan said he was "pleased and happy" with the verdict. Calling the incident "a one-time slip," Dayan said that "I hope another 60 years goes by just so I don't slip again. I have a suspended sentence, I have to be careful not to slap people."