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Roseanne details abuse by parents; levels new accusation

By ROGER BENNETT

LOS ANGELES -- Comedian Roseanne Barr Arnold, embroiled in a bitter battle with her parents over her allegations of childhood sexual abuse, said Tuesday her father molested her daughter on the comedian's wedding day.

Arnold, 38, star of the popular ABC-TV sitcom 'Roseanne,' first went public with charges she had been molested by her father last month before a group of incest victims and therapists in Denver.

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During a taping Tuesday of the 'Sally Jesse Raphael Show,' Arnold dropped another bombshell, accusing her father of molesting her daughter at Arnold's wedding.

'It was at my wedding in 1990 that my father molested my daughter, Jessica,' Arnold said. 'She didn't tell me for six months that he had done that at my wedding, which is why Tom and I got remarried,' referring to her and Tom Arnold having repeated their marriage vows.

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The comedian said she began recalling the childhood incidents in 1980 when a sister revealed her own childhood abuse, but it was only two years ago while her husband was attending a drug rehabilitation program and discussed abuse he had suffered as child that her traumatic memories began to surface.

She recently wrote to her parents, Jerome and Heidi Barr of Salt Lake City to tell them she planned to reveal her childhood trauma. They did not respond.

However, since Arnold's public revelations, her parents have denied the allegations, and have announced they plan to sue People magazine for printing an article quoting Arnold about the alleged abuse.

'We're totally upset,' Jerome Barr said last month. 'I never touched my daughter... I never had any incestual relationships with her. '

The Barrs also have taken lie detector tests, their attorney Melvin Belli said, adding they both passed.

'They are not going to shut me up and I'm not going to stop,' Arnold said. 'Their lawyer said they took lie detector tests, which really craks me up because everybody knows you have got to have a conscience and feel some guilt to fail one, and they've never had either or they wouldn't have done any of it.'

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Arnold said as a teenager her father would burst into the bathroom while she bathed to film her with his movie camera.

She also said her mother grabbed her by the hair on her 17th birthday and 'saying she wished I had died in the car accident the year before.'

Arnold said she has spent her adult life keeping her childhood trauma a secret, which she said drove her to 'torture' herself with drugs, alcohol and food.

'Keeping that secret is what my whole life has been about for 38 years,' she said recently. 'I did such a thorough job of keeping the secret that I didn't even know it myself until two years ago.'

She said her destructive behavior led her to smoke five packs of cigarettes a day, overeat, then diet and abuse drugs.

'I have lived the majority of my life in a flesh prison that I was always trying to blow up, break out of or whittle away,' she said.

Tom Arnold, appearing with his wife on the program, also disclosed he had been sexually abused as a child.

'I was 7 and he was 18,' Arnold said. 'He used to babysit me and it happened a lot. I was thinking -- being a guy, you always wonder, you don't want to tell anybody this happend to you. It did happen, and I want to confront the guy.'

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