The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -They flashed their tattooed rear ends in public, posed for gross-out photos and squabbled with TV networks. It wasn't pretty while it lasted, and now the union of Roseanne and Tom Arnold is coming to an ugly end.
Mrs. Arnold filed for divorce Monday and got a restraining order against her husband and business partner, accusing him of slapping her around.
The 41-year-old star of one of TV's most popular shows fired her husband as executive producer of "Roseanne," cut up his credit cards and dashed off to Europe for a three-month trip without him, a source close to the couple said.
She also fired Kim Silva, the couple's assistant who had joined them in a mock, three-way marriage, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mrs. Arnold said in court papers that couple, who married Jan. 20, 1990, officially separated Friday.
"I now realize that I have been a classic battered and abused wife," Mrs. Arnold said in court papers. "Throughout our marriage the respondent 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 take for him to stop."
PMK, the public relations firm representing the Arnolds, said there was no comment from Mrs. Arnold or her 35-year-old husband, a comic who is filming his own CBS series, the low-rated "Tom."
The caustic, corpulent couple began with a stormy courtship that overlapped with Mrs. Arnold's breakup from her first husband. The actress postponed their 1990 wedding until her husband-to-be sought help for substance abuse.
In her book "My Lives," she says she was sexually abused as a child, leading her to abuse drugs and alcohol.
The Arnolds made news together by flashing their ample bottoms each bearing a tattoo of the other's name at the 1989 World Series, mud wrestling in photographs for Vanity Fair, recounting personal recollections of child abuse and squabbling with networks over contracts.
The divorce filing came three days after an argument erupted between the Arnolds on the set of ABC's "Roseanne," which has traditionally ranked in the top 10 each week.
Mrs. Arnold claimed her husband forced his way onto the set Friday past the four security guards she hired to prevent him and assaulted four people.
That same day, she said, she called police after her husband charged into her Los Angeles home and threatened her three children from a previous marriage. She said in court papers that her husband had moved out six months ago.
In asking for a restraining order, the comic declared: "I have often been the subject of humiliating stories in tabloid newspapers. However, I must make these revelations at this time because of the conclusion that I have reached that I cannot continue to live in a classic battered wife syndrome mentality."
An entertainment industry analyst said that the impact of the split remains uncertain but that Mrs. Arnold clearly outweighs her husband in ratings clout.
"If Roseanne Arnold left 'Roseanne,' that would have an impact on Capital Cities-ABC and on Viacom, which syndicates the show," said Jeffrey Longdon of the Seidler Cos. securities firm. "Tom Arnold is not someone who would impact the earnings per share of any company." Read Next Article