Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Finley obtains temporary custody of children

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Cleveland Indians pitcher Chuck Finley filed for divorce from his actress wife Tawny Kitaen, just days after she was arrested for allegedly hitting him.

Finley, 39, filed divorce papers in Orange County Superior Court on April 4 and obtained a temporary restraining order preventing Kitaen from seeing him. He also received temporary custody of the couple's two daughters, ages 9 and 3.

In a statement taken under oath that accompanied the divorce filing, Finley said, "I am fearful that (Kitaen)...will harm herself or will harm others, including me or including my children."

Kitaen said in her sworn response dated April 15 that her family is "the most important thing in my life and I live for my two daughters."

Kitaen, who appeared in such movies as "Bachelor Party" and "California Girls," is accused of attacking her husband April 1 as the two were returning home from dinner. Police who responded to the couple's Newport Beach home said they saw abrasions and scrapes on Finley's body.

Kitaen, 40, is scheduled to be arraigned April 29 for two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence. She faces up to a year in jail and $6,000 in fines if convicted.

The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that Kitaen acknowledged that she has become addicted to prescription medications for depression and migraine headaches over the past two years. She said that she voluntarily checked into a 30-day rehabilitation treatment program last week.

"I am seeking treatment for this issue so I be the healthiest and best mother possible to my two daughters who mean the world to me," Kitaen said in her statement.

Finley and Kitaen were married in November 1997 after a well-publicized courtship. Kitaen was previously married to David Coverdale, lead singer for the British heavy metal band Whitesnake.

Finley was scratched from his first scheduled start for the Indians earlier this month. He pitched Tuesday, lasting only 1 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox. He gave up nine runs, eight of them earned.

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