Arnold and Burnett were involved in a brief physical altercation on Sunday night as both entered the Evening Before party in Century City, the glitzy annual fundraiser for the Motion Picture Television Fund. The question of who was the first to lay hands on the other is still unclear.
Arnold went to the West L.A. division of the LAPD on Monday morning and made a report for battery, said LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera. No further details were immediately available, Herrera said.
Arnold has targeted Burnett for months as part of his upcoming Viceland TV series “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes,” which premieres Tuesday. Arnold has harshly criticized Burnett for what Arnold views as his effort to protect President Donald Trump by not releasing unused footage from Trump’s long run as host of “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” which Burnett created and exec produced. Arnold maintains that recordings exist of Trump using racial slurs and exhibiting misogynist behavior while shooting “Apprentice.”
In an interview with Salon published shortly before the Evening Before party began, Arnold told writer Melanie McFarland that he planned to confront Burnett at the Emmy Awards ceremony, which will be held Monday night at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
“They’re really worried about me being anywhere near him,” Arnold told Salon about Burnett. “I’m like, ‘What about the country guys?’ ” Arnold is also quoted as saying: “I’m definitely going to do something at the Emmys.”
Arnold’s comments contributed to the view of the Burnett camp that the confrontation at Evening Before was planned by Arnold.
On Sunday night, Arnold said via Twitter that Burnett “went apes—” and tried to choke him. Burnett had his t-shirt ripped and a gold chain with a crucifix that he wears around his neck was broken, according to a source.
Burnett was with his wife, actress-producer Roma Downey. Arnold said via Twitter that he was with documentary filmmaker Bryan Fogel. A source said that Jeff Probst, host of Burnett’s CBS franchise “Survivor,” was also near Burnett and Downey at the time of the incident, which occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. PT.
Downey said via Twitter she got a bruise on her hand amid the scuffle. A source close to the situation said she tried to grab Burnett’s crucifix, a symbol of deep religious significance to Burnett, as it fell off his neck.
Arnold tweeted that Downey knocked Fogel’s cellphone out of his hand. It is believed that Fogel sought to take cellphone video of Arnold’s encounter with Burnett. Arnold said on Twitter that Fogel “has tape.”
Security at the Evening Before quickly broke up the altercation. Both Burnett and Arnold were allowed into the party after the situation calmed down. Few of the hundreds of partygoers saw the incident as it occurred at the edge of the packed space on the Lawn at Century Park. But word of the scuffle spread quickly. Arnold sent his first tweet about it at 9:24 p.m. PT.
Reps for Arnold could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. Reps for Burnett and Downey declined to comment.