Homeless radio sensation briefly held by LA police
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Ohio homeless man whose smooth broadcaster voice made him an Internet sensation was questioned by police after he and his daughter got into a heated argument at a hotel during a trip to Hollywood to appear on “Dr. Phil” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
“I don’t know how loud they were,” Officer Catherine Massey said, but the argument around 9 p.m. Monday at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa led to a disturbance report.
“It was minor. Both parties were angry but there were no signs of visible abuse,” Massey said Tuesday. She said Ted Williams and his daughter “were brought in, calmed down, talked to and released” and she did not know the nature of the argument.
Williams and his daughter were held at the Hollywood police station for less than an hour and they were not arrested, Massey said.
She declined to name Williams’ daughter, but a statement from “Entertainment Tonight” identified her as Janey (pronounced juh-NAY’) Williams.
Ted Williams told ET in a Tuesday night show that it was a family gathering that got out of control.
“I wanted to bring it to a close by just saying ’shut the hell up and let me talk to your mother.’ When that was said out of my mouth my daughter exploded, just erupted into this jump up in my face type of thing, fists started flying, none of which were mine, none of which were mine, but it could have escalated to the point where it could have gotten really ugly. So in the process of doing that, I got scratched on my face,” he told ET.
Janey Williams told ET she was angry because her father, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, had resumed drinking.
“He has consumed at least a bottle of Gray Goose a night. That’s not including the Coronas he ordered, that’s not including the Budweisers he ordered, the other alcohol, the wines. He drinks heavily,” she said.
Ted Williams denied to ET that he had been drinking.
It was not known whether the two returned to the hotel next to the Hollywood Boulevard home of the Academy Awards presentation.
“Due to guest privacy laws, we don’t share details of our guests or their stays,” said Dan Shaughnessy, director of sales and marketing for the Renaissance.
Williams’ manager, Al Battle, declined to comment about or provide details of the incident but said a statement would be issued soon.
“Once we get all the facts, it’ll be out there for everybody to have,” he said in a brief phone interview with The Associated Press.
Williams flew into town to tape appearances on TV’s “Dr. Phil” show and “Entertainment Tonight.”
“Entertainment Tonight” covered his meeting with voiceover actors at a Screen Actors Guild Foundation sound studio who offered to help Williams become a guild member voiceover artist, according to a show statement.
The two-part “Dr. Phil” episode was taped over the weekend to air Tuesday and Wednesday. On the Wednesday segment, Williams meets with his ex-wife, Patricia, and five of his nine children, according to a statement from the show.
“In this emotional reunion, Williams talks openly with his family about the man he is today, the influences that threaten his sobriety and what his children can expect from him in the future. His children respond in a very raw and candid manner,” the statement said.
“Everyone is pulling for Ted, but his 15 minutes are going to be over and then he’ll be left to manage a life filled with temptation,” host Phil McGraw said. “We’re going to try and help him prepare for that because it would be a real tragedy if he did not make the most of this extraordinary second chance.”
Williams, 53, trained to be a radio announcer but found his life derailed by drugs and alcohol in the 1990s. He has served time in prison for theft and forgery and has been cited with numerous misdemeanors, including drug abuse.
Williams became famous almost overnight after The Columbus Dispatch newspaper posted a web video of him last week. Viewers were enthralled to hear a deep, honeyed professional voice coming from the shabbily dressed man.
Since then, he has done a TV commercial for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, appeared on various news shows, recorded voiceover promos for cable news and was offered an announcing job with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.
Although he says he has been clean for more than two years, the recovering addict has acknowledged that it has been challenging dealing with sudden fame.
“I wanted a nerve pill yesterday, to be honest with you,” he told CBS on Friday.
Associated Press writer Robert Jablon contributed to this report.
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