It all comes down to exactly where former child actor and radio host Danny Bonaduce was drunk and stoned.
In a slander lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Bonaduce accused former KYSR-FM (98.7) radio morning cohost Jamie White of defaming him by telling listeners he had been “higher than a kite” while on the air and had “no clue as to what is going on because he is so loaded.”
Bonaduce also claims that White, who still cohosts a morning show on 98.7, speculated on air that he had been fired in July because he had become an uninsurable liability to the station. Bonaduce also claimed White was responsible for reports on the Internet Wikipedia site that his relations with station co-workers were hurt by a drunk driving arrest and in the current National Enquirer that he had verbally abused his daughter while at the station.
Attempts to reach White for comment were unsuccessful.
Bonaduce, whose marital infidelities and drug history are part of the backdrop to the VH-1 reality show “Breaking Bonaduce,” spent May in a Malibu rehab center. But he said in the lawsuit that he was never drunk or stoned while on air and was not arrested for driving under the influence.
“For whatever reason, Jamie has just decided to make these false and defamatory statements,” said David L. Burg, Bonaduce’s lawyer. “Danny can’t sit by while this is happening.”
Burg said Bonaduce’s reputation with possible employers has been harmed by the comments -- even though Bonaduce himself has talked publicly about his problems.
“He’s certainly been open with his audience about the difficulties in his life,” Burg said, but he argued that the problems had never filtered into Bonaduce’s work on the “Jamie and Danny” morning show. “It’s certainly important to him that his professional reputation and personal reputation not continue to be damaged.”
Burg declined to let Bonaduce be interviewed. “We’re not looking to escalate this,” Burg said. “We want her to stop defaming and stop slandering him.”
Bonaduce spent six years cohosting the radio show with White, at one point reaching No. 2 in the local radio ratings, the lawsuit said. But Bonaduce was let go after he returned from rehab, because the station was “going in a different creative direction,” the lawsuit said.
Bonaduce’s first public role was as a character on the 1970s TV show “The Partridge Family.”