SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Actress Tawny Kitaen was charged with
spousal abuse and battery after authorities said she attacked her
husband, Cleveland Indians pitcher Chuck Finley, as the two were
driving home from dinner.
The charges were revealed Wednesday, hours before Finley was
scheduled to make his season debut against the Anaheim Angels, the
team for which he pitched for 14 seasons.
He was replaced by rookie Ryan Drese, who earned his second
major league victory, defeating the Angels 6-5 at Anaheim.
"He did not feel like he could make it to the ballpark,
wouldn't be able to pitch," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro
said of Finley.
Kitaen, meanwhile, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon but did not
appear in court, prosecutors said. She told court officials she was
ill and remained in a cell at the Orange County jail during her
scheduled court appearance. Her arraignment was continued to April
Kitaen was released several hours later and left in a limousine
without speaking to reporters.
If convicted of the two misdemeanor counts, she faces a maximum
penalty of a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
These are not the only charges that she is facing. According to Thursday's Orange County Register, court records show that Kitaen was arrested on Dec. 13 on a charge of malicious damage for allegedly using a key to scratch a Chevrolet Suburban on both sides after a parking dispute in Newport Beach, Calif. She will be arraigned on that charge on April 18.
She was arrested Monday night after arguing with Finley as they
drove home from dinner, said Tori Richards, a spokeswoman for the
Orange County district attorney's office. Richards said Finley was
driving when Kitaen began kicking him with her high-heeled shoes.
"She kicked him in the thigh, in the leg, in the arm, she
grabbed his ear and twisted it," Richards said. "At one point,
her high-heel shoe was on top of his foot pressing the accelerator
to the ground."
A third party called 911 after the couple arrived at their
Newport Beach home, Richards said. Kitaen was arrested after police
saw abrasions and scrapes on her husband's body.
A judge issued a restraining order against Kitaen, ordering her
to have no contact with her husband. Richards said Kitaen will live
in the Newport Beach home, while Finley will stay elsewhere.
Shapiro said he expects Finley, 39, to rejoin the Indians when
the team begins a three-game series in Detroit on Friday.
"What he's going through are the regular ups and downs people
go through in their personal life," Shapiro said. "His priority
right now is his family. My sentiment to him was to take as much
time as he needed to tend to his personal matters."
Team spokesman Bart Swain said Finley was not scheduled to pitch
in Detroit. He said the earliest the pitcher would take the mound
was a home game next week against Minnesota.
Kitaen, whose real name is Julie, married Finley in 1997. They
have two daughters.
The 40-year-old actress, who is best known for her role in the
Tom Hanks movie "Bachelor Party," has also appeared in such TV
shows as "Seinfeld," "Married ... with Children," and "The
Howard Stern Show."
She was previously married to David Coverdale, lead singer for
the British heavy metal band Whitesnake.
O.J. Simpson testified that he had a yearlong affair with the
actress. Her name appeared on the witness list for Simpson's murder
trial in 1995, but she was not called. Nor was she called as a
witness during the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Simpson two