There's a relatively new feud in Hollywood. This time, it's between Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett, the producer behind The Apprentice. As it was reported over the weekend, the aged comedian and the veteran television producer got into a nasty disagreement during a Before Emmy fundraiser party on Sunday evening, which resulted in a physical altercation that spilled over onto Twitter. The objective details are left unclear about how it all went down, but Roma Downey, Mark Burnett's wife of 11 years, posted a picture of her hand with a bruise, claiming that it came from Tom Arnold.
While that appears to be damning evidence against Tom Arnold, the comedic actor says the actress is not telling the truth. Rather, Arnold's embittered tweet in response to these allegations make the claim that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, her "crazy husband," were the ones who actually attacked him. And that they are reportedly trying to frame him, essentially, in order to make themselves look like the victims. Because of that, Arnold claimed he will be pressing charges against the television creators, saying he is going to sue Downey and Burnett for defamation.
Clearly, tensions are high right now, and it's not even completely clear who started the physical altercation, and it's just as unsettle how it ensued. One party is claiming the other is responsible and visa versa. According to an eyewitness at the party (via Variety), the violent altercation happened shortly after both Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett made their way into the charity event, around 9:30 PM, to be more exact. While seemingly no one has confirmed whether it was Arnold or Burnett who started the fight, the reported scuffle involved some shoving, and Arnold claims the TV producer choked him.
Twitter has made it apparent that the tensions are still very, very high between the parties involved. We shouldn't expect this issue to be resolved in any short amount of time, especially when one considers why the reported shoving and fighting ensued in the first place, which ties back to Mark Burnett's involvement on The Apprentice, the NBC reality series where Donald Trump regained popularity before his eventual run for president.
There have been multiple unsubstantiated reports that Donald Trump used racial slurs on camera during the filming of _The Apprentice. _The tapes haven't surfaced on the internet or shown to the media, but Arnold believes that Burnett is intentionally hiding these tapes from the public in order to protect Trump's image. Since those allegations first came up, Arnold hasn't been on any good terms with Burnett, although this Before Emmy incident is the first time since this feud grew to prominence that there has been any sort of physical altercation.
It should also be noted that Tom Arnold was once a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, on which Mark Burnett also served as an executive producer. More recently, Arnold has built a new brand around anti-Donald Trump material, most notably with the upcoming release of his new Viceland show, The Hunt For The Trump Tapes, which is also referring to the alleged "pee tape." That show premieres on Tuesday, September 18, on Viceland. What happens next is left to be determined, but it appears that Tom Arnold is seeking criminal charges, while Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are sticking to their side of the events.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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