Valli Gets 1 Year of Probation for Battery Conviction : Court: The wife of ‘60s singing star is also ordered to serve 40 hours of community service for striking a Moorpark restaurateur.


The woman arrested for the most famous slap since Zsa Zsa Gabor hit a Beverly Hills policeman was sentenced Thursday to one year’s probation.

Randy Valli, the 39-year-old wife of ‘60s singing icon Frankie Valli, was also ordered to serve 40 hours of community service.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Herbert Curtis handed down the sentence just two days after rejecting Valli’s motion for a new trial.


The timing of the sentence was unexpected.

Defense attorney Louis “Chuck” Samonsky had planned to appeal the case and ask Curtis to set a future sentencing date.

But on Thursday, Curtis called the attorneys into his chambers and told them he wanted the case to end now.

Samonsky said the judge indicated he had no intention of sending Valli--who has no criminal record--to jail for a first-time misdemeanor battery offense.

Samonsky called his client, a Calabasas resident, from the Ventura courthouse and the two agreed to immediately proceed with sentencing, even though she was not present.

During a brief proceeding, prosecutor Allyson Kimmel asked the judge to impose a two-day jail sentence and five days of work furlough--a common sentence for first-time battery offenses, she said.

But Curtis said unsupervised probation and community service were appropriate. The judge’s only caveat was that Valli pick a new charity in which to serve her community service hours. She already volunteers at her children’s school and at other aid organizations.


Curtis suggested she try a church or hospital.

“I want her to do something different,” he said.

Valli could face six months in jail--the maximum term for misdemeanor battery--if she violates probation by committing another crime.

Outside the courtroom, Kimmel said she had no complaints with the sentence. Samonsky had a mixed reaction.

“I’m pleased this is over,” he said. “But we have to live with that verdict.”

In May, a Ventura County jury deliberated one day before finding Valli guilty of battery.

The decision so outraged Samonsky that he asked Curtis to immediately strike the ruling, saying evidence presented at trial did not support a conviction. Curtis refused.

According to some accounts, Valli struck owner Sandra “Alex” Sofsky after being asked to leave the upscale Secret Garden restaurant in Moorpark because Valli and her dinner companions were being loud, rude and critical of menu prices.

The Vallis were dining with singer Frankie Avalon and his wife, Kay. All four testified it was Sofsky who was being rude and loud.

Randy Valli told jurors she never slapped Sofsky but pushed her accidentally while trying to catch her balance after Sofsky allegedly grabbed her by the shoulders and tried to boot her from the building.


After the trial ended, Samonsky filed a motion for new trial, alleging a male juror made angry, biased remarks about Valli’s defense team during deliberations. He said the remarks may have tainted the deliberations.

In June, a hearing was held on those allegations and eight jurors were called to testify. Three told the judge a male juror had made derogatory remarks on Samonsky’s role in a Ventura County murder case. But they all said the comments did not influence their verdict.

At one point in the proceedings, the forewoman testified that deliberations in Valli’s case became angry and heated. She told the judge she felt coerced by other jurors to convict Valli. She said those jurors suggested the defendant had to be guilty because she had hired a “high-powered” attorney.

The forewoman said one juror threw a set of jury instructions at her for disagreeing, while another remarked, “I hate that celebrities always get off the hook.”