Actor Tom Arnold has accused producer Mark Burnett of assault. Arnold claimed the former “Apprentice” producer choked him at a party on Sunday, September 16.
The aftermath played out on social media. Arnold posted on Twitter Monday, September 17, that he was pressing charges against Burnett. He shared that fact in a response to a President Trump tweet. Arnold wrote, “Sitting in West LAPD filing charges against your best bud Apprentice Outtakes Mark Burnett who lost his mind, attacted & chocked me last nite at Katzenberg’s Night Before The Emmy’s Party. Last fight I got into there was with Harvey Weinstein. Mark Burnett is scared:) #TrumpTapes”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Tom Arnold Quickly Shared the Allegations on Social Media
Tom Arnold took to Twitter Sunday night to accuse Mark Burnett of assaulting him. He claimed it happened during the Evening Before The Emmys event in Los Angeles. He posted the accusation around 9:30 p.m. local time.
“Mark Burnett just went apeshit & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain. I’m waiting for LAPD.”
A source told Variety that the two men got into a physical confrontation while entering the party. The source said it was unclear what the argument was about and that there was shoving involved. But it was not clear who may have initiated the violence.
2. Mark Burnett’s Wife Pushed Back on Twitter, Posting a Picture of a Bruise She Claims to Have Sustained in the Altercation
Mark Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey, posted to Twitter about an hour after the incident. She shared a picture of her bruised hand, which she claimed she suffered during the altercation. Her tweet read:
“Got this bruise tonight when Tom Arnold tried to ambush my husband Mark and me at a charity event. Is your TV show worth it Tom? Please stop.”
Tom Arnold was quick to respond to Downey’s tweet. He wrote back: “Bullshit. You lie your crazy husband attacked me you psycho. I’m filing police report & suing you for defamation.”
Arnold accused Downey of lying about how she was bruised. He claimed the photo was a week old and had nothing to do with him.
3. Arnold Claims to Have a Witness to Support His Claim About the Alleged Fight, and Received Support From Fellow Actor Patton Oswalt on Social Media
Actor Patton Oswalt posted a photo with Tom Arnold shortly after the alleged assault. He wrote, “I’m with @TomArnold, everyone. He’s okay. We gotta protect this brutal angel.”
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Tom Arnold’s lawyer, Marty Singer. He claimed that the confrontation was an “unprovoked attack” and that there was at least one witness who could support Arnold’s side of the story.
Mark Burnett has not yet issued any public statements or social media posts about the alleged incident at the Emmy party. The Los Angeles Police Department has also not commented on the incident.
4. Tom Arnold Has Accused Mark Burnett of Hiding Alleged Tapes of President Trump using Derogatory Language
The tension between Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett had been growing for several months. Arnold has been working on an investigative series about President Trump called “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.” The eight-episode series was scheduled to debut on September 18 on Viceland.
Arnold has been trying to obtain access to outtakes from the “Apprentice.” His series follows his search for alleged video recordings of Donald Trump making discriminatory statements or using the n-word. Arnold has accused Mark Burnett of protecting President Trump by refusing to make previously unseen footage available to the public. It is important to note that there has been no physical evidence that such tapes exist.
In October of 2016, prior to the election, Burnett stated that he did not have the right to release any unaired footage because it was the property of MGM. This took place right after the release of the now-infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.
The allegations came up again after former “Apprentice” contestant and White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman released her book. She claimed that Trump used the n-word often while taping the reality show and called him a racist. In response, President Trump then tweeted in August of 2018 that Mark Burnett had assured him that no such tapes existed.
“.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.”
5. Tom Arnold Reportedly Asked Mark Burnett for an Interview For His Upcoming Show
Arnold shared a video on Twitter on September 13th, of an alleged phone conversation with Mark Burnett. In the video, he requests an interview with Burnett. Arnold tweeted the following caption:
“Mark Burnett, Tom Arnold is there anyway that we could get together and talk?”
“Uh, not right now. What’s up?”
“About my show, and uh, Trump.”
“The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, have you not heard about it?”
“Yes?” “No” “Yes?” “No!”
Arnold is also heard asking Burnett if he could use that phone conversation in the show. The answer was no.
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