Thursday, September 19, 2002
Tawny Kitaen pleads down spousal abuse case
The Associated Press
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. Actress Tawny Kitaen agreed Wednesday to a plea bargain on spousal abuse and battery charges alleging she attacked her husband, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chuck Finley.
Under the deal, Kitaen did not admit guilt but agreed to enter a spousal battery counseling program. If she completes the program and other conditions of the deal, the case could eventually be dropped.
The bargain also requires Kitaen, 40, to avoid contact with her husband, stay away from their Newport Beach home and return to court in December for a progress report.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Pamela Iles made the agreement with Kitaen over the objection of Deputy District Attorney Debbie Johnson.
Iles also ordered Kitaen to make a $500 donation to a battered-women's shelter, pay $400 in court costs, see only one doctor and not to change doctors without approval and take only medications prescribed by a doctor.
If convicted of the two misdemeanor counts, she faced up to a year in jail.
Kitaen, who appeared in such movies as Bachelor Party and California Girls, was 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.
After her arrest, Kitaen admitted to being addicted to prescription medications for depression and migraine headaches over the past two years. She checked into a rehabilitation treatment program.
Finley and Kitaen were married in November 1997 after a well-publicized courtship.
Finley was playing for the Cleveland Indians at the time of the April incident. He was later traded to St. Louis.
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