Rodney Atkins Files for Divorce
Rodney Atkins has filed for divorce from his wife, Tammy Jo Atkins, in the wake of what he claims are false accusations of domestic violence.
According to court documents filed in Williamson County, Tenn., Tammy called the police on the morning of Nov. 21, after alleging an alcohol-fueled night of fighting resulted in the country star attempting to smother her with a pillow. Tammy also claims her husband grabbed her by the face and threw her down a hallway -- right in front of their 10-year-old son. Rodney was subsequently arrested, and released on $2,500 bail.
The 'Take a Back Road' singer firmly denies the allegations, and is working now to dissolve their marriage.
"This was an unfortunate verbal dispute between Mr. and Mrs. Atkins within hearing range of their child, and when Mr. Atkins realized their child was in hearing range of the argument, his first priority became getting out of the earshot of the child," Rodney's lawyer, Rose Palermo, writes in a statement given to The Boot. "That is when Mrs. Atkins called the police and gave them her version of the argument, which is completely untrue. Mr. Atkins realized he would have no recourse but to file a complaint for divorce. Since filing the complaint for divorce, he has exercised substantial parenting time with the parties' son and he will continue to do so while the divorce is pending. The criminal complaint does not allege that any harm came to the child or Mrs. Atkins and as a result the Court has not prohibited Mr. Atkins from having parenting time with his son."
The couple's son, Elijah, is by Dad's side at a lot of industry events, including the lighting of the White House Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The country star is also a step-father to Tammy's two daughters from a previous relationship. Rodney and Tammy have been married more than 13 years and had a seemingly wonderful relationship, with the singer often gushing in interviews about his wife's love and support. He cast her in his video for the sweet love song, 'Farmer's Daughter' (watch it below), explaining the tune was art imitating their real life.
A court date has reportedly been set for January 2012. Rodney will very likely maintain his innocence. "Under Tennessee state law, anyone can swear out a warrant to the police and have a warrant issued to an arrest," states Palermo. "Obviously that is the case here, since according to the explicit terms of the warrant, it's entirely based on the word of Mrs. Atkins. The police did not witness any assault because none occurred. The police did not witness any violence between Mr. and Mrs. Atkins. It is entirely based on her word."
Rodney is scheduled to perform a series of shows in the next several days, including a concert in Lowell, Mass. tonight (Dec. 15). He is also scheduled to appear, along with Lauren Alaina, on Fox's TV special, 'American Country New Year's Eve Live,' which will air on Dec. 31 at 11:00 PM ET. And most importantly, he'll spend as much time with Elijah as he can.
"Mr. Atkins plans to spend significant time with his child over the Christmas holidays and respectfully requests privacy at this time," Palermo concludes. "Mr. Atkins wants to thank his fans for standing by him as he is confident the truth will prevail."
Watch Rodney & Tammy in His 'Farmer's Daughter' Video