Actor-comedian Tom Arnold filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department on Monday accusing “The Apprentice” TV executive producer Mark Burnett of battery at a pre-Emmy party when a verbal dispute over the comedian’s pursuit of information on President Trump for a TV show.
Arnold and Burnett were at a charity event Sunday evening when the comedian-turned-documentary-TV-series maker confronted Burnett about allegations he is keeping secret recordings from “The Apprentice” TV show that include racially tinged language by then host and now President Trump.
“Tom Arnold met with West L.A. officers and a battery report is being completed,” said LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar, a department spokeswoman.
Arnold after speaking to LAPD investigators told his version of the incident to a crowd of reporters outside the station.
“Mark Burnett attacked me like a psycho, no provocation at all,” he said. Arnold said he was walking up a steep set of stairs into the event when Burnett approached him. “ Before I get to the top of the stairs he lunges out at me. He does a choke,” Arnold said speaking in a raspy voice and motioning to his throat. “I then defended myself and ripped off his fake cross...He could have killed me,” Arnold claims the incident damaged his vocal cords.
Shortly after the incident witnessed by others in the entertainment business, Arnold tweeted out, “Mark Burnett just went … & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain, I’m waiting for LAPD.” He later deleted that and several other tweets about the incident, with the exception of one saying actor Kevin Bacon witnessed the confrontation.
FYI: Kevin Bacon is a solid reliable brawl witness. Sosie Bacon is a wingman.— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) September 17, 2018
Attempts to contact Burnett for comment have been unsuccessful.
But Burnett’s wife, actress Roma Downey, is accusing Arnold of being the assailant. Downey tweeted that Arnold “tried to ambush” her and Burnett. She posted a photo of a visible bruised back of her hand. “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?”
Downey seems to reference that the interaction took place shortly before the debut of Arnold’s TV show “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.”
Arnold later denounced that post by replying on Twitter, “You lie your crazy husband attacked me…. I’m filing police report & suing you for defamation.” Burnett is a self-made multi-millionaire who brought the likes of “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and other shows to TV.
Actress Alyson Hannigan used her Twitter account Sunday evening to report what she witnessed. She said she was walking into the party when she saw Arnold and Burnett “get into a fight!Thought it was a joke until security jumped in!”
Arnold’s TV show is seeking so-called outtakes and recordings that support the idea that Trump made racial remarks during production. The president has denied the allegation. Rumors of such remarks have circulated since before his election.
Trump addressed the issue directly after former “Apprentice” contestant and former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said such racially insensitive remarks occurred.
“@MarkBurnett 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,” Trump tweeted.
.@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. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
Burnett has denied the existence of such recordings and said he does not own any of the recordings of the show.
4:43 p.m. : This article was updated with an additional interview with Tom Arnold.