As someone put it in the Popdust offices, "This is some old school country shit." Country star Rodney Atkins, performer behind such chart-toppers as "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)," and this year's "Take a Back Road" (the #3 country song of the year!), has filed for divorce from his wife Tammy Jo Atkins. This in itself is not necessarily shocking, however, the circumstances behind it are—Atkins is filing in response to Tammy Jo's claims that the singer assaulted her during an alcohol-fueled row, including him throwing her down the stairs in front of their ten-year-old kid, and him attempting to smother her with a pillow.
Atkins, of course, claims that the accusations are fraudulent. A statement from Rodney's lawyer Rose Palermo reads as follows:
"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...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...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."
Pretty incredible stuff, though of course we'll wait until more of the facts come out before making any kind of judgments. In the meantime, time to crank up the "D-I-V-O-R-C-E."