Rick Springfield Arrested for Spousal Abuse

ByABC News
September 21, 2000, 7:47 PM

September 20 -- This never would've happened if the Sydney Olympic Games had chosen him instead of Olivia Newton-John to carry the torch.

Australian-born pop singer Rick Springfield who racked up 14 Top 40 hits in the '80s, including the No. 1 "Jessie's Girl" was arrested Monday on charges of spousal abuse. He was taken into custody after police officers, responding to an emergency call, arrived at the actor-musician's Malibu, Calif., house and found his wife, Barbara Springthorpe, with minor injuries.

Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department spokesman William Hines said Springfield, 51, was arrested "after officers determined he was a suspect in spousal abuse," having observed that his wife had "minor injuries to her face and arm," including scratches and redness.

The singer, born Richard Springthorpe, was released Tuesday morning after posting $50,000 bail. Hines said details of the alleged altercation were still under investigation, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is expected to file charges in the case.

On Tuesday, during a break in taping the upcoming VH1 Behind the Music Anniversary Special, Springfield told the Associated Press that he and Barbara had a spat, and a third party alerted the authorities. "We're together and we're going to work it out," he added. The couple has been married for 18 years, and has two sons.

Springfield, who was born in Sydney in 1949, began his musical career in England in the early '60s, then turned to acting in the late '70s, landing the plum role of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital. Throughout the '80s, he was a regular fixture on the pop charts, with hits including "Human Touch" and "Don't Talk to Strangers," and also starred in the 1984 feature film Hard to Hold.

In 1988, after battling bouts of writer's block and depression, the resurgence of Springfield's career was abruptly cut short by a near-fatal motorcycle accident. He eventually returned to acting, landing spots like a recurring role on NBC's Suddenly Susan. He recently wrapped up a national tour in support of Karma, his first new album in 12 years.