LOS ANGELES -- Comedian Roseanne Arnold and her husband, Tom Arnold, won a settlement in a lawsuit that claimed they caused extensive damage to a rented mansion, prompting one tabloid to report the famous couple left it looking like a pigsty, an attorney said Monday.
The Arnolds had been named as defendants in the suit, filed by Spencer and Suzanne Proffer, but it was the Proffers who chose to end the legal battle by paying the Arnolds a $60,000 settlement, said Delos Brown, the Arnolds' attorney.
The Proffers' suit claimed the Arnolds devastated the Proffers' Benedict Canyon house while renting it from July 1989 to May 1990. It sought damages for what the Proffers said were costly repairs to priceless rugs, hardwood floors, antique furniture and gaping holes in the walls.
The National Enquirer reported that the star of the ABC series 'Roseanne' and her husband had 'trashed a Beverly Hills mansion -- turning it into a pigsty.'
The Arnolds vehemently denied the allegations and filed a cross- complaint claiming the Proffers and the tabloid conspired to stage the 'pigsty' scene for photographs, then for the Proffers to have the wealthy TV star and her husband pick up the tab for remodeling work on the house.
The settlement, reached Friday, resolves both the original suit and the cross complaint, Brown said. A separate suit the Arnolds filed against the National Enquirer had been dropped earlier.
With the settlement offer, Spencer Proffer gave the Arnolds a written apology in which he retracted the accusations made against the Arnolds in the lawsuit.
'We now realize that others and not you did the damage to the Benedict Canyon house and the stories in the media claiming you 'trashed' our house were wrong,' the letter said.
'We know that you are fine, honest, upstanding and honorable people -- that you live in refinement and splendor and that your exquisite home is at all times maintained in a spotless and impeccable manner,' Proffer wrote.
The Proffers' attorney, Bert Deixler, could not be reached for comment.
Brown said the Arnolds had not demanded an apology but he suspected they offered it and the $66,000 payment out of 'naked fear.'
'I think the Proffers knew the jig was up that we were on to them big time, that we'd figured out their fraudulent devices,' Brown said.
Brown alleged the homeowners intended to redo the house at the Arnolds' expense, asking contractors to do far more work than required to simply repair 'normal wear and tear,' and to give inflated estimates for the job.
Brown said the contractors told him they had been asked to submit excessive bids, and their stories were supported by housekeepers who worked for the Arnolds while they rented the house.
'A lot of people came forward and the truth came out,' he said.
The Arnolds, in a statement, called the settlement a 'victory' and 'complete vindication.'
'Of course it hurt and humiliated us to be wrongly and maliciously depicted as slobs that lived in a pigsty and and damaged someone else's house. We knew and our close friends knew that the claims were fraudulent and that we don't live or act that way, but the public believes what they read and hear from the media,' the couple said.
'We hope it will serve as a good lesson to other people who may think they can extort money from us because of our celebrity status.'