Tiani Warden: Gary Busey’s Ex-Wife Dies in Jail at 52

Tiani Warden

Getty Warden and Busey pictured together in 2001.

Tiani Warden, the ex-wife of actor Gary Busey, has died at the age of 52.

Warden died following a cocaine overdose in jail in Texas, reports TMZ. The TMZ report says that Warden died on November 4. Warden was Busey’s second wife. The couple was married between September 1996 and January 2001. In April 2014, Warden remarried a man named Rodney Crivac.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Warden Has Been Described as a ‘Model & Kickboxer’

The couple was married at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. Busey’s son, Jake Busey, served as his father’s best man. The couple originally met in Dallas in 1989 and began dating in 1994. An article from the time of their wedding describes Warden as a “model and kickboxer – and a great singer.”


Tiani WardenPlato's Run…brief lightup scene2008-06-04T04:00:37.000Z

At the time of Warden’s death, Busey was in a relationship with actress Steffanie Sampson. According to Warden’s IMDb page, she appeared in three movies, “The Chain,” “Plato’s Run,” “The Rage,” and a mini-series named “Rough Riders” in 1997. All four of those appearances co-starred Busey.


2. Warden Was Found Unresponsive in Her Jail Cell Less Than 24 Hours After Her Arrest

Gary Busey wife

Tiani Warden’s mugshot.

CBS19 reports that Warden was arrested on November 3 and accused of public intoxication by the Quinlan Police Department. From there, Warden was held in the Hunt County Detention Center. Around 2:30 p.m. the following day, Warden was found unresponsive in her cell. Warden was rushed tot Hunt Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

The CBS19 report cites Sheriff Randy Meeks as saying, “First and foremost my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tiani Warden during a very difficult. I want to commend the Detention Officers that did everything they could to revive Tiani Warden and following their training and protocols put in place.” Warden’s cause of death has been ruled to be an “accident.”


3. Warden Saved Gary Busey’s Life in 1995


Gary Busey in THE RAGE: "We have some squirrels inside the cage"Gary Busey acting like a real butt-horn in THE RAGE. My review: juntajuleil.blogspot.com/2009/03/film-review-rage-1997-sidney-j-furie.html2009-03-15T22:39:21.000Z

In May 1995, People Magazine reported that Warden saved Busey’s life as she called 911 following his cocaine overdose. The People report quotes Warden as telling the 911 operator, “He’s barely breathing. I can’t move him! Honey? Gary? Sweetheart?” Warden later told police that Busey had been drinking and had a 1.5-gram bag of cocaine in his pocket.


4. Prior to Their Divorce, Warden Said That Busey Was ‘Unpredictable’ After He Choked Her

Gary Busey wife

GettyBusey attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016.

Prior to their divorce, Warden accused Busey of being abusive in their marriage. In 2014, Warden was quoted by The Sun as saying, “[Busey] put his face about an inch from mine and started screaming. He grabbed my neck and started choking me. I slid down on the couch to try and get his hands off my neck and he put his knee into my chest as he continued to choke me. I finally pushed him off me and ran to my car. He jumped on the hood but I drove to the police, who arrested him.”

Warden alleged, “Gary saw me pick up his cocaine to throw it out, he jumped a table and grabbed me, throwing me across the room. He dragged me out of the hotel room and down the hall, resulting in numerous bruises. His behavior is unpredictable. I am afraid for my safety.” Warden was later granted a restraining order against Busey.


5. Warden Was Arrested Twice in the Same Day in 2019 for Public Intoxication

Gary Busey wife

GetBusey performs on stage at ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” Live Finale at The Grove on November 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Warden was arrested twice on the same day in June 2019 for public intoxication. East Texas Matters reported that Warden was arrested at 3 p.m. on June 9 for public intoxication and was released on a $500 bond. Just after midnight, Warden was arrested again on the same charge and released again on a $500 bond. In September 2015, Warden was arrested on public intoxication charges and was sentenced to time served after paying a fine.

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