“Family Ties” mom Meredith Baxter has been making the media rounds to discuss her new memoir, “Untied,” in which she details the physical and mental abuse she endured from her then-husband David Birney during her time on the popular ’80s sitcom.
When Oprah Winfrey reached out to Birney, the father of Baxter’s three children, for comment, he had none. It seems that the “St. Elsewhere” actor has changed his mind, however. Birney reached out to People on Friday to tell them that Baxter’s book is “a kind of fairy tale” and an “appalling abuse of the truth.”
He claims that after their divorce, 20 years ago, Baxter did her best to gain sole custody of their three children, despite the judge’s joint custody ruling. “During that time she arrived in court repeatedly with various lawyers and several therapists, ‘recovered memories,’ accusations of abuse – a common charge in custody disputes – and tales of our life together that bore little resemblance to truth – a mean spirited process that battered us all, especially the children,” he says. “The court denied her suit on every occasion. This current recycled version of our family story is no more credible now than it was then.”
Birney says that the fact that Baxter had absolutely nothing positive to say about their 16 years of marriage saddens him. “This blanket omission, this unrelieved denial of even a single instance of joy or pleasure in the creation of a family, the substance and amazing joy of raising children together, of simply being together with them during that time, is incomprehensible. And sad.”