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Tawny Kitaen Tells the Story Behind the Infamous Mug Shot

The Tawny Kitaen-Chuck Finley nuptials were a beaut. Actress Kitaen was arrested by Newport Beach, California police on April 1, 2002 and charged with spousal abuse and battery on her husband, then St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Finley.
After Kitaen was arrested by Newport Beach police, Finley, on April 4, filed a divorce petition–and sought a temporary restraining order against Kitaen–in Orange County Superior Court. Finley’s portrait of his marriage was an ugly one: he claimed his wife was a suicidal drug abuser who was so strung-out that he feared for the safety of their two children. To buttress his argument, Finley’s attorney filed a declaration from the couple’s nanny who said that she was often asked by one of the kids, “Is mommy whacked out again today?” Finley also filed a detailed list of drugs he contends were prescribed to–and abused by–Kitaen.

Kitaen, in turn, contended that Finley was a heavy boozer who frequently smoked marijuana, injected illegal steroids, and had “bragged” that he knows how to “get around drug testing within the baseball league.” Kitaen leveled those charges in a May 1, 2002 declaration filed in the couple’s divorce case in California’s Superior Court (the declaration was filed in connection with Kitaen’s request that Finley return the couple’s two daughters to their Orange County home from a temporary Cleveland residence). Kitaen had also filed a declaration claiming that Finley’s family liberally uses the N-word, that the athlete likes to gets liquored up, brawl with strangers, and kept an unregistered shotgun in the bedroom closet.

Wow. With that as a back story, Kitaen was interviewed on Howard Stern Tuesday morning. Stern, more than anything else wanted to know if Kitaen looked like her mug shot or the babe he remembered from the film, Bachelor Party. Stern said the mug shot made Kitaen look like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. “She looked like the female Nick Nolte,” Stern also said of the picture. The interview was actually at Kitaen’s insistence to prove that she didn’t look like her mug shot and that she wasn’t a maniac.

Stern also confessed to having a crush on Kitaen back in the day, and sounded like he still had. “I had a little crush going but you don’t even want to think about when you’re married. I was smitten,” said Stern. Stern remembered running into Kitaen at Donald Trump’s wedding along with O.J. back before the murder case. Stern recalled Kitaen and Simpson making out and discovered they were going out. Stern said he was freaked out by that. Stern noted that once Simpson was arrested, Kitaen distanced herself from the athlete. Stern suspected that it was all embarrassing in retrospect.

It was Stern’s opinion that Kitaen looked hot and looked good. He kept repeating himself as he asked Kitaen to see her ass crack. [She was wearing those kind of pants.] Kitaen claims she looked like that in the picture because she had just been beaten up by Finley. Kitaen claims the stories about her beating Finley up are untrue, that Finley goes 6’7″ and weighs 250 pounds. “I didn’t beat him up,” she insisted. Kitaen said she also called the cops on Finley in 1994 when he allegedly beat her up another time.

Kitaen said she and Finley currently live about four minutes from each other. Kitaen said they have joint physical custody of the kids. Kitaen gets the weekends. Stern asked why and, Kitaen, again stammered for an answer. Stern suggested, that being the case, that Kitaen did beat Finley up. Kitaen insisted no, that there was a private judge situation. “I recommend going into a real courtroom.” It was also brought up that Kitaen had a Vicodin addiction. Kitaen copped to migraines, and, contrary to opinion, Kitaen said she has a grasp of facts as they occurred. Kitaen admits to having had a problem with Vicodin and sleeping 15 hours a day but it’s over.

“I was in a bad marriage, depressed and unhappy with myself.” Kitaen said she let herself and her life go. Kitaen said she thought she had been in love with Finley but stayed in the marriage because of the kids. “I had two choices with him- either stay home and be a mom or go to Hollywood. And I couldn’t do both. There was no choice for me.” Kitaein said, on the average, she would take 10 Vicadins [sans booze] a day. Stern said he would have banged the Vicadins out of her.

Kitaen claims Finley wasn’t rich at the time they met. Stern said he didn’t even know who Finley was.

Kitaen said here she was, a mother of two [names Winter and Rain], in Santa Ana County jail four days. Finley didn’t bail her out. Stern asked if she had been hit on in jail. “They kept me in solitary confinement,” she said. Kitaen said she was made to shower but she didn’t want to get her hair wet for fear of taking pictures that would make her look like a wild woman. Kitaen claims two white female sheriff’s deputies pulled their guns on her. “Bitch, get in the shower,” Kitaen said she was told. “That’s hot,” said Stern. “I love that.” Kitaen insists she had to strip down with guns pointed at her. Kitaen said she cried.

Stern ragged on Kitaen for naming her kids Winter and Rain. “I’m going to have you locked up.” Stern ascertained that despite the relationship not being good, Finley was banging Kitaen without a rubber. “Honestly I didn’t think I could get pregnant,” Kitaen offered as an excuse. Kitaen said she gave up her career after the birth of the first child. “It was a big, big mistake.” Kitaen said Finley, being from Louisiana, she bought into the barefoot and pregnant-thing. Kitaen said she gave up the career and moved down to Newport.

In 1994, Kitaen called the police on Finley when he yanked her arm behind her back and threw her down on the floor. Since it was pre-O.J., Finley wasn’t arrested. The next time was the highly publicized incident which led to the infamous mug shot. “But they arrested me.” According to Kitaen, a judge told her that she was in Finleyland in Orange County. “He is a god in Orange County.” Stern was still amazed that she didn’t get custody of the kids with all that. Kitaen said four months prior, Finley called a divorce attorney and started the ball rolling. “Can you imagine sleeping with a man all those months every night and the next day he’d calling his divorce attorney?”

Kitaen characterized it as a passive-aggressive relationship. “He would just totally ignore me and leave the house.” Kitaen said she was not satisfied sexually. “I didn’t feel beautiful. I didn’t feel pretty.” Kitaen said she was sure Finley would be pissed by her telling her story. Kitaen said the Vicadin was the only thing that deadened the pain. Kitaen suspects that Finley was hiding additional pill bottles around the house to make it seem like she’d gone over the edge. Kitaen claims a private detective was hired to plant them around the house and they took pictures. The pictures were then used against her in the custody battle.

“He wanted to get full custody of the kids. One of the reasons was not to pay child support.” Stern said Finley was a genius. Kitaen said she’d be out for 15 hours from the Vicadin while a nanny took care of the kids. “This constitutes a woman having her kids taken away. There’s crack addict mothers who get their kids back in three months. It’s been a year and a half and I still don’t have my kids.”

In a stammering sense, Kitaen is also of the belief that O.J.’s innocent. Kitaen claims the O.J. she knows didn’t do it. Couldn’t possibly have. Kitaen also begged to differ on Stern’s account of her kissing O.J. at Trump’s wedding. “You guys were lovers- I didn’t know that. It took me by surprise.”

Stern said she was lucky she didn’t get killed that she could have married O.J. Kitaen said she runs into O.J.’s daughter and exchanges phone calls with his friends. Kitaen said she talks to Simpson’s secretary. “Because we were best friends.” Kitaen claims she hasn’t spoken directly to da O.J., though she has talked to him since the murders. Kitaen said she talked to him when he was in jail, that he called her.

A famous rumor supposedly had Nicole’s 9-1-1 call being the fact that she discovered a receipt for jewelry that was allegedly given to Kitaen. Kitaen played dumb. “Honestly I do not know the story,” Kitaen claimed. But Kitaen took the Fifth about answering whether Simpson bought her jewelry. Stern said it was Kitaen’s jewelry that drove Nicole over the edge. Kitaen said there was a lot that drove her. Kitaen said she met Nicole one time. Stern asked if Kitaen had been banging Simpson while he was married to Nicole. His question met silence.

“I have no idea what banging means,” Kitaen finally answered. “I’m a mother.” Kitaen insisted she didn’t have an affair with da O.J., that they were friends. Kitaen said they met when she was 23 and they dated. It was her only black guy, she claims. Kitaen insists it was friendship. “We messed around a little bit,” she said when pressed by Stern if it had been sexual. Stern wanted to know the size of O.J.’s penis. “I picture O.J. splitting you like dried wood,” Stern said. He asked Kitaen if she was scared when O.J. first pulled off his pants. She said she wasn’t. “Was he crazy at all?” Stern asked. Kitaen said she still cannot believe that O.J. did it. Especially taking a knife. “He never raised a hand to me.” Kitaen said she had a run in with Nicole one time and she was not nice.

Kitaen: “We were in her house. It was July 4th. I was walking into her house and she was walking out. We were walking in the famous pool room. I said hi to her. We were in passing and she stopped and said, why do you find it so necessary to be my friend. I looked at her and said because I’m in your house and a guest and wanted to say hi. She looked at me and said, why you’ve got some type of insecurity problem or something? And she laughed at me, turned around and walked away.

Stern laughingly suggested that Kitaen may have had her own motive. “Nobody ever spoke to me about my whereabouts,” Kitaen said.

Kitaen said she had been on the phone with Finley the night before. “He said I’m taping that show [Stern]. And you are going to have to put up with me and my lawyers when you get back. I can’t believe you’re doing that white trash Howard Stern show.” Stern said Finley’s welcome to come on the show and talk about it.

Stern was trying to get Kitaen to tell him who was the better lover, O.J., Finley or David Coverdale another ex-husband. Kitaen also admitted to banging Jon Stewart but claims she did not have sex with Dodi Fayed. “He tried desperately. He sent jewelry.” Kitaen also claims that Fayed wanted to marry her. Stern also asked if she ever banged Jerry Seinfeld. Kitaen hesitated and sighed. “I was single,” she finally said. Stern said he pictures Seinfeld whining a lot in bed.

A caller-in asked Kitaen about her full frontal scene in Witchboard. Kitaen showed beaver but says she now shaves. Kitaen said she never went to bed with another woman but may have kissed one. But she couldn’t recollect a specific instance.


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