Country Singer Rodney Atkins in Nasty Divorce

He's been charged with domestic assault
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 15, 2011 6:18 PM CST
In this Nov. 8, 2011, file photo, Rodney Atkins, right, and his wife, Tammy Jo, arrive at the 59th Annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
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(Newser) – Rodney Atkins has filed for divorce, and his attorney denied today that the country singer assaulted his wife last month. Atkins was arrested Nov. 21 and charged with domestic assault. 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. Attorney Rose Palermo called the allegations of violence "completely untrue" in a statement and said the argument did not become physical.

Palermo writes of "an unfortunate verbal dispute" that was within hearing range of the couple's young son. When Atkins realized 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." The platinum-selling singer, known for No. 1 hits including "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)," "Take a Back Road," and "Watching You," decided to file for divorce as a result of the false statement to police, the statement says. Both allege inappropriate marital conduct in divorce filings. (Read more Rodney Atkins stories.)

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