Thursday, December 15, 2011
– Rodney Atkins filed for divorce with his attorney denying Thursday that the singer assaulted his wife last month.
Atkins was arrested Nov. 21 and charged with domestic assault, according to an Associated Press story. His wife, Tammy Jo Atkins, told police that "after a night of heavy drinking he assaulted her and tried to suffocate her with a pillow." Atkins' attorney disputed the charges, saying they were "completely untrue." While acknowledging that the couple argued, the attorney said the dispute did not become physical.
Attorney Rose Palermo told of "an unfortunate verbal dispute" that occurred when the couple's son was nearby. When Atkins saw this, "his first priority became getting out of the earshot of the child, and that is when Mrs. Atkins called the police and gave them her version of the argument, which is completely untrue."
Atkins apparently decided to file for divorce due to the false statement given to police.
The story said, "Both allege inappropriate marital conduct in divorce filings in Williamson County. Tammy Jo Atkins is seeking full custody, an equal distribution of their assets, alimony and child support. Rodney Atkins is seeking joint custody. In one filing, his attorney says Tammy Jo Atkins' 'ill conduct' was a justifiable cause for his own conduct in the early morning hours of Nov. 21."
Tammy Jo Atkins told police the couple argued all night, claiming her husband had been drinking. She alleged that he tried to smother her with a pillow at night and in the morning grabbed her by the face and shoved her down a hallway. She said she feared for her safety and that the assault occurred in front of their 10-year-old son, Elijah. A hearing in the divorce case will be held Dec. 20.
"Mr. Atkins plans to spend significant time with his child over the Christmas holidays and respectfully requests privacy at this time," the statement reads. "Mr. Atkins wants to thank his fans for standing by him and he is confident the truth will prevail.