Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Updated: April 4, 7:37 AM ET

Finley's wife arrested on spousal abuse charges

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Actress Tawny Kitaen, wife of Cleveland Indians pitcher Chuck Finley, was charged Wednesday with spousal abuse and battery for allegedly attacking her husband.


Kitaen was arrested Monday night after arguing with Finley as they drove home from dinner, said Tori Richards, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office.

She was released from jail Wednesday night and left in a limousine. She did not speak as she walked past a gauntlet of reporters and photographers.

The charges were revealed the same day Finley was scheduled to make his season debut against his former team, the Anaheim Angels, for whom he pitched for 14 seasons.

Finley was scratched from his start and did not come to the stadium. Ryan Drese got the start in Finley's place.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said there was nothing physically wrong with Finley, but, "Chuck called me today to say that he wouldn't be able to make the game tonight."

"He did not feel like he could make it to the ballpark, wouldn't be able to pitch," he said.

Shapiro said Finley is expected to join the team in Detroit, where the Indians open a three-game series on Friday.

"My attitude is, it's the same as with any player in the organization. Everyone has issues outside of being a major league player that they have to deal with in life," Shapiro said. "It's a tough thing to go through when you're in an environment like this."

A third party called 911 after the couple arrived at their Newport Beach home, Richards said. Police arrested Kitaen after noticing abrasions and scrapes on the 39-year-old Finley.

Kitaen, 40, was ordered released Wednesday on her own recognizance from Orange County Jail. If convicted of the two misdemeanor counts, she faces up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

A judge issued a restraining order against Kitaen, ordering her to have no contact with Finley. Richards said Kitaen will live in the Newport Beach home, while Finley will live elsewhere.

He was driving Monday night when the couple began arguing, and Kitaen kicked him with her high-heeled shoes, Richards said.

"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."

Kitaen, whose real name is Julie, and Finley were married in 1997. They have two daughters.

Kitaen is best known for her role in the 1984 Tom Hanks movie "Bachelor Party." She's 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.

"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."

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