Actor/comedian Tom Arnold and television producer Mark Burnett, known for reality TV shows like The Apprentice and The Voice, reportedly got into a physical altercation at a pre-Emmys party on Sunday night. Both the LAPD and Arnold’s lawyer, Marty Singer, confirmed the incident to The Hollywood Reporter, though no charges had been filed as of publication.
Update: Arnold has formally filed battery assault charges against Burnett, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Arnold tweeted about the incident around Midnight EST, alleging that “Burnett just went apeshit & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain.” He also stated that he’d called the police.
In response, Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey (of Touched by an Angel fame) tweeted an image of her bruised hand, claiming it was injured during the confrontation. “Got this bruise tonight when Tom Arnold tried to ambush my husband Mark and me at a charity event,” she wrote. “Is your TV show worth it Tom? Please stop.”
The TV show Downey is referring to is Viceland’s The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold. The series finds Arnold earnestly trying to track down a number of damaging audio and video recordings that reveal potentially damaging proof of President Trump’s not-so-secret underbelly. In addition to things like the infamous “Pee Pee Tape”, Arnold is after hours of rumored audio from the filming of The Apprentice, including tapes that allegedly contain Trump using the N-word.
Arnold responded to Downey in another tweet, calling her a liar and threatening legal action. He later said that the actress/producer had knocked a phone out of the hands of documentary director/producer Bryan Fogel (Icarus), who started filming after Burnett laid hands on his friend.
Numerous individuals on social media commented that Downey’s bruise did not look as if she had obtained it just that night. Arnold jumped on the theory, though at the same time highlighted the possibility that this was a publicity stunt for his new show.
A number of witnesses confirmed the incident, including Patton Oswalt who tweeted the following image of himself with Arnold after the fight:
All of this, of course, seems to stem from Arnold’s hatred of Trump. The two used to be close personal friends, but the comedian has made it his mission over the last two years to bring an end to Trump’s presidency by uncovering proof of his unsuitableness. Arnold claims to have seen the N-word tape, which he also claims finds the POTUS calling his own son, Eric, the r-word. “There’s two people who have never called me a liar about the N-word tape,” Arnold said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “Donald Trump and Mark Burnett, because they know it’s true.”
“I’m going to do this until he resigns,” Arnold added. “He is a crazy person. He is putting this country on the precipice of war right now. For some reason, I am in a position to do something, and it is working. And I am going to do this until that guy resigns and the world will be safer. It’s going to happen.”