Fights

Rosey Does It, One Day at a Tom

12 easy steps to ending a union, following Roseanne and Tom Arnold's example

During their four-year marriage, Roseanne and Tom Arnold seemed to be in a state of perpetual recovery: from drug addiction and alleged childhood sexual abuse (his), and overeating, alleged incest, and multiple-personality disorder (hers). But when Roseanne filed her 250-page divorce action against Tom on July 13, it became apparent that they're now facing recovery from each other. With more than $25 million in assets at stake, Roseanne asserts that Tom abused her, while Tom claims he's now dependent on staying in ''five-star hotels villas or manors.'' Using the court documents as a guide, we offer a 12-step program for recovering from a Hollywood marriage:

1. Recognize when your lives have become unmanageable. ''When speaking to me,'' Roseanne complains in her petition, ''[Tom] has often asked, 'Who am I talking to?' inferring [sic] that I have multiple personalities, knowing that this upsets me.''

2. Take responsibility for your actions. Tom allegedly phoned Brandi Brown, Roseanne's daughter, and accused her of breaking up the marriage.

3. Maintain grace under pressure. On the day Roseanne first filed for divorce, Tom and three other men allegedly burst into the offices of their Wapello County Productions, shouting, ''Okay, everyone get out, you're all fired!''

4. Remember that food is not the enemy. While waiting for Wapello's employees to clean out their desks, Tom and his buddies purportedly intercepted the staff lunch delivery and took ''one or two bites'' out of several sandwiches.

5. Admit your powerlessness over difficult in-laws. According to Roseanne, her brother-in-law, Chris Arnold, ''offered certain employees time off and cash bonuses, if the employee would allow Chris Arnold to shoot him or her with a stun gun. I knew Chris was not a well-balanced person.''

6. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Roseanne states that Tom not only brought National Enquirer reporter Braham Smith with him to Sardinia to confront her on her vacation in June but also invited Smith to their second wedding, her birthday party, and her son's bar mitzvah.

7. Make direct amends with people. ''I have never told [Tom] that I intended to destroy his entertainment career,'' says Roseanne. ''Quite frankly, I would be the happiest person in the world if [Tom] had a successful career. I am tired of supporting [him] and his parasitic friends and family.''

8. Don't hold a grudge. Roseanne maintains she is ''not opposed'' to Tom's remaining executive producer of Roseanne.

9. Accept that possession is nine tenths of the law. Roseanne asks that Tom return her 1993 Best Actress Emmy, on display at their jointly owned Big Food Diner in Eldon, Iowa.

10. Surrender to a Higher Power — and we don't mean Carole Lieberman. The Hollywood rent-a-shrink weighs in with a 17-page take on Roseanne's psyche, maintaining that the actress was a ''brainwashed hostage'' acting out a ''rescue fantasy'' in which she was ''unconsciously trying to rescue Tom from himself.''

11. Know thyself. ''I now realize that I have been a classic battered and abused wife,'' says Roseanne, ''who has tolerated [Tom's] conduct only because (he) has lowered my self esteem and reduced me into the realm of battered wife syndrome.''

12. Let go of the past. Roseanne says that Tom told her, ''Let's not have the divorce get in the way of closeness.''

Originally posted Aug 05, 1994 Published in issue #234 Aug 05, 1994 Order article reprints