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The San Diego Union-Tribune (CA)
April 20, 1994
Author: NORMA MEYER; Copley News Service
In a graphic account that shatters the crafted image of the powerful lovey-dovey couple, TV star Roseanne Arnold claims she was beaten and emotionally tormented by her husband, Tom, during their four-year marriage.
“I now realize that I have been a classic battered and abused wife,” Roseanne said in court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Roseanne’s explosive sworn statements accompanied Monday’s petition for divorce from her business partner husband and a temporary restraining order to keep him away from her. “Throughout our marriage, (Arnold) hit me, struck me, has thrown objects at me, pinched me and verbally abused me. He also has pushed me against walls, while he screams and shouts at me, drowning out any possible plea that I might make for him to stop,” Roseanne, 41, said in documents.
Judge Robert Schnider issued an order preventing Arnold from going within 100 yards of the couple’s Brentwood home or the “Roseanne” stage at CBS’ Studio City lot until a hearing next month. Roseanne revealed in court papers that Arnold, 35, moved out of their home by mutual agreement six months ago and into a Westwood condominium.
The volatile split is the latest headline-grabber for the once inseparable Arnolds, known for rowdy antics like mooning baseball crowds, as well as unending public revelations about allegedly abusive childhoods, addictions, tattoos and cosmetic surgery.
When Roseanne caused a national furor in 1990 by wailing a rendition of the national anthem at a San Diego Padres game and grabbing her crotch, Arnold, as usual, was the first to defend her. Roseanne had been invited by Padres chairman Tom Werner, whose company produces her show.
Neither of the Arnolds could be reached for comment about their newest scandal. The couple’s business manager and their publicist declined comment.
Hollywood, however, was abuzz with word of the breakup, as speculation mounted over what will become of the Arnolds’ multimillion-dollar TV empire. Rumors resurfaced that Arnold was having an affair with his assistant, Kim Silva, who recently took part in a three-way “marriage” with the Arnolds as a publicity stunt.
There is no mention of another woman in legal papers, only alleged violence by the relatively unknown stand-up comic that Roseanne turned into an industry force.
Earlier this month, Roseanne said, she and Arnold argued in their home.
“He pushed me down on the bathroom floor, put his foot against my back and pulled at my hair,” she said. “I was screaming in desperation for him to relent, but he was screaming and shouting and ignoring my pleas … I was extremely frightened for my physical safety, if not my life.”
The Arnolds are executive producers and/or star in “Roseanne,” “Tom” and the ABC pilot “Cherry Street South of Main.” The pilot is part of a multiseries deal that the couple, through their Wapello County Productions, have with ABC in conjunction with Warner Bros. TV.
Roseanne reportedly fired Arnold as executive producer of her highly rated “Roseanne” on Friday, a day after taping the last show of the sixth season. In court papers, Roseanne said she tried to bar Arnold from the set Friday, but he overwhelmed security guards and scratched and hit four people.
The same day, Roseanne said, Arnold thwarted a security system at their house and threatened her four grown children. She said she called police to get Arnold out.
Roseanne is executive producer but said to have little involvement with CBS’ “Tom,” the struggling sitcom that stars Arnold.
A spokesman for “Roseanne” producer Carsey-Werner Co. said plans for next season are going forward, but he declined comment on Arnold’s role. The Arnolds are still at odds with Carsey-Werner over a deal with ABC to keep the show on the air for three more seasons.
Some industry analysts said the split may have little effect on production of “Roseanne,” which the actress developed before she married Arnold, and which is the mainstay of her business. Revenues for “Tom” and the pilot are considered far less important.
“Roseanne Arnold is apparently the creative genius behind the ‘Roseanne’ show, which is far and away the dominant program in her empire,” said David Davis, a TV programming analyst for a media research firm.
“Any personal or family crisis that she has probably will not have any impact on the ‘Roseanne’ show. There’s too much money involved, in terms of the network and syndication.”
Roseanne canceled an appearance yesterday to receive the Jack Benny Award from UCLA and is believed to have left for a European vacation.
The crisis is the latest for the comedian, who claims to have been sexually and emotionally abused by her parents as a child, allegations her family denies. Roseanne has said she sees a psychotherapist and takes anti-depressants, including Prozac, to help her cope with her past.
Copyright 1994, 2007 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Record Number: UTS1123452