An ex-Lehman Brothers hotshot is accused of biting, kicking and pulling the hair of his estranged wife inside their lavish Manhattan co-op.
David Milberg, 50, who was vice president at the failed bank and now runs a private investment firm, is set to go on trial for attempted assault after the alleged April 1 incident, which the mother of his children says involved him using 'both of his hands to forcefully push me onto a chair... causing bruising and substantial pain.'
Melinda Milberg, 50, told authorities she 'then observed (my husband) grab me by the hair and strike my head against the chair multiple times... causing my hair to come out of my head.'
According to the New York Daily News, prosecutors dropped the charges to lesser misdemeanors Monday to force a bench trial, while Mr Milberg's lawyer had been fighting for the higher charges so a jury would hear the case.
The banker allegedly admitted to police that he 'bit her arm' but insisted 'I fell into a trap. This is what she wanted.'
The couple's 14-year-old daughter, who was allegedly at the Upper West Side pad at the time, may be called to testify against her father, the Daily News reported.
But Mr Milberg's lawyer insists his wife trumped up the accusations to win leverage in the couple's nasty, multimillion divorce case.
The lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, told the newspaper Mrs Milberg's 'antics have deprived Mr Milberg of any meaningful contact with his own children.'
In the split, the couple are fighting over custody as well as access to a 400-acre country club of which they are members.
David Aronson, Mr Milberg's divorce lawyer, said the estranged couple could both be 'at the country club at the same time as long as Mr Milberg understands he has to stay away from his wife and not approach her and not speak to her.'
But Mrs Milberg's attorney said that was inconceivable as the possibility of seeing their father at the posh club was a 'really a frightening thought' to the couple's two kids.