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Tuesday, September 24
Kitaen accuses Cards' Finley of breach of contract

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Actress Tawny Kitaen has filed a $12 million lawsuit against her estranged husband, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chuck Finley.

In the lawsuit, made public Monday, Kitaen accused her husband of breach of contract, saying Finley broke his promise to financially support her for the rest of her life. Finley filed for divorce in April, three days after Kitaen, 41, was arrested for spousal abuse.

Finley did not respond to the suit before the Cardinals' game on Tuesday night.

Kitaen, who appeared in the feature film ''Bachelor Party'' and the television movie ''California Girls,'' was accused of attacking her husband April 1 as the two were returning home from dinner. Police said they saw cuts and scrapes on Finley's body.

Kitaen pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of spousal abuse and was ordered to undergo a year of counseling, avoid contact with her husband and make a $500 donation to a battered-women's shelter.

Finley, 37, was playing for the Cleveland Indians at the time. He was later traded to St. Louis.

In court documents filed Sept. 17, Kitaen said that when Finley proposed to her on Valentine's Day 1991, he gave her a Cartier diamond engagement ring and a key to his home. He soon gave her unlimited access to his personal bank account and told her to spend away, the lawsuit said.

When Kitaen became pregnant with the couple's first daughter in 1992, Finley requested she become a fulltime mother in exchange for financial support, the lawsuit said.

Kitaen gave up her career of making $15,000 a week on the sitcom ''WKRP in Cincinnati'' and $22,000 an episode as host of ''America's Funniest People,'' the lawsuit said. She stopped working fulltime in 1993.

Kitaen was Finley's nurse and homemaker and managed his day-to-day business, the lawsuit said. She also boosted his career by lending him her own celebrity, and even picked out his hair color to burnish his boyish image, the lawsuit said.

Since filing for divorce, Finley has ignored Kitaen's repeated requests for money, the lawsuit said. He also took $4.1 million from a joint personal account, the lawsuit said.

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