INDIO (CBS) — “Party of Five” and “Seventh Heaven” star Jeremy London pleaded not guilty to spousal battery Thursday.
He is accused of allegedly roughing up his estranged wife in Palm Springs during an argument about their 5-year-old son.
London was charged Monday with a misdemeanor count of battery of a spouse or cohabitant. He pleaded not guilty to the charge at his arraignment today at the Larson Justice Center, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge B.J. Bjork also issued a restraining order requiring him to have no contact with the woman, according to court records. He is due back in court March 15 for a pretrial hearing.
The alleged victim, who was identified as “Jane Doe” in the criminal complaint, called police the morning of Nov. 18 to claim that London, 39, hurt her when they were outside London’s car — while their son was in the vehicle, Palm Springs police Detective Michael Studer wrote in a declaration in support of arrest filed Monday.
The woman told police the scuffle happened outside a home in the Mountain Gate complex at 400 Gateway Drive.
Studer wrote that London, who had stayed overnight at the home, put the couple’s son, still wearing pajamas, into his car. London told his estranged wife he was taking their son to breakfast, Studer wrote.
“(She) said (their son) was yelling, `I don’t want to go,’ ” Studer wrote.
When the woman grabbed London’s backpack from his car in attempt to stop them from leaving, “London grabbed her by her hair, pulling her to the ground,” Studer wrote. “… London hit her several times on the side of the head in an attempt to take the backpack away. (She) said eventually she let go of the backpack and got up off the ground to get (the boy) out of the car.”
London left immediately after the incident, Studer wrote.
He wrote that the 5-year-old boy told a police officer that his father pulled his mother’s hair, and “My dad was a bad boy.”
London has a child with Melissa Cunningham, whom he married in 2006 and from whom he is separated.
The woman who called police said she had been separated from London for two years and had been unable to divorce him for financial reasons, and because he wouldn’t sign the paperwork, Studer wrote.
In June 2010, London made headlines when he said he was kidnapped and robbed in Palm Springs and forced to buy drugs and alcohol at gunpoint before escaping from his abductors.
In March, one of the men involved pleaded guilty to a felony charge of false imprisonment and a misdemeanor count of unlawful taking of a vehicle. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, but with time already served and other credits, he was released from a Banning jail the day he entered the plea, according to court records.
District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall said London could get up to a year in county jail if convicted of the battery charge.