Don McLean

ELLSWORTH — A state judge has ordered “American Pie” singer-songwriter Don McLean to stop disparaging his ex-wife on social media.

Judge Michael Roberts issued the protection order to Patrisha McLean in Hancock County Court in Ellsworth on Wednesday, less than eight months after Don McLean pleaded guilty in Knox County Unified Court in Rockland to a series of domestic violence offenses stemming from a January 2016 assault against his then-wife at their home in Camden.

The protection order also prevents the 71-year-old McLean from having any contact with his former wife for two years. He also was ordered to pay $5,500 in legal fees on her behalf.

The singer could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The protection order was sought in January after Patrisha McLean reported a spate of postings in December from a “Dirk” to Don McLean’s fan message board that made disparaging remarks about her. She said she believed that Dirk was actually Don McLean.

Patrisha McLean said she also received an email at the same time from an unknown address that called her obscene names and was signed with an obscene name. She said those were the same names her former husband used to call her during their 29-year marriage.

Last month, her attorney, Christopher MacLean, filed a request with the Hancock County Court to send a letter to a Canadian court in an effort to subpoena records from a Canadian communications company in order to trace where the email originated.

No action was taken on the request and there was no finding of where the postings and email originated.

In the domestic violence case, the Knox County District Attorney’s Office and the singer’s defense attorney reached a deferred disposition agreement on July 21, 2016. Its terms stipulate that Don McLean would not serve jail time if he didn’t commit additional crimes for 12 months. The domestic assault charge would be dismissed and he would be convicted of domestic violence criminal threatening, criminal mischief and criminal restraint. He would be fined $3,000.

He also was required to be evaluated for possible domestic violence and anger management counseling.

If Don McLean violates the terms of the agreement, he could be sentenced to serve up to 364 days in jail. The county district attorney had not reviewed the protection order, but said that a civil matter is not a crime.

“Patrisha is relieved that the court has granted her a two-year protection from abuse order,” attorney MacLean said Wednesday.

He pointed out that bail conditions on Don McLean will expire in July, when the deferred disposition expires, and that the protection order affords her extended protection.

Patrisha McLean thanked her attorney and the Next Step Domestic Violence Project in Ellsworth in a statement issued Wednesday. She has just completed training at Next Step and plans to advocate for other women in abusive relationships, she said.