08:53 AM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 03/04/2011 08:55PM
Breaking his silence, David Birney issued a forceful denial of ex-wife Meredith Baxter's allegations he abused her during their 16-year marriage.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, the actor, 71, calls her claims "an appalling abuse of the truth" and derided her new memoir, Untied, as "a kind of fairy tale."
After their divorce 20 years ago, he says, Baxter "conducted a relentless and brutal assault" for eight years against their shared custody of their three children in what he called an attempt "to destroy that arrangement and replace it with herself as sole custodian."
Originally posted 03/01/2011 07:30AM
They were costars on the romantic, early '70s sitcom Bridget Loves Birney, man and wife from 1974 to 1989, and they had three children together.
But Baxter, 63, who came out as a lesbian in 2009, says her relationship with Birney, 71, was far stormier than it appeared.
In a new memoir, Untied, the actress says that Birney struck her on more than one occasion. (On Tuesday's Today show, it was said Birney has denied the accusation.) Recalling one incident, Baxter writes: "It was so sudden and unexpected, I couldn't tell you which hand hit me, or even how hard. I do recall thinking, 'I'd better not get up because he's going to hit me again.' "
Originally posted 12/17/2009 07:00AM
Having come out in the pages of PEOPLE earlier this month as a real-life lesbian mother, Meredith Baxter – who played the popular TV mom Elyse Keaton on the '80s sitcom Family Ties – will now put her entire story to paper.
This week, the Broadway Books imprint of Crown Publishing Group announced it had acquired a yet-to-be-written, yet-to-titled memoir by Baxter, who "will present a fully realized portrait of her life as an actress, mother of five children and grandmother, and will candidly discuss her fight with breast cancer, her 19 years of sobriety, entrepreneurship and her decision to come out," says the publisher, reports The New York Times.
Before Baxter, 62, first started dating women seven years ago, the thought of being gay "had never crossed my mind," she told PEOPLE. Having been in three failed marriages to men (most famously to actor David Birney), the actress and skin-care company operator – who is now in a four-year relationship with building contractor Nancy Locke – said of her many difficult years before coming out, "I was never comfortable with myself."
Originally posted 12/03/2009 08:00AM
The first person to laud Meredith Baxter for her decision to come out publicly as a lesbian is her TV husband, Michael Gross.
"She's one of my favorite people in the world, and I'm just thrilled that it's no longer a secret, and that's about the size of it," says Gross, who played the dad on the 1980s sitcom Family Ties. "I'm just thrilled this has happened because now my wife and I don't have to hide this from everybody we know. Occasionally people will say to us, 'Hey, Michael, you still see your costar? How's she doing? Is there a man in her life?' "
Gross, 62, and his wife have known about Baxter's sexuality for four years, and he counts the actress, also 62, among his best friends – they last saw each other in July, at a Family Ties reunion dinner. Baxter and longtime girlfriend Nancy Locke, a building contractor, are a wonderful couple, he says.
Originally posted 12/02/2009 08:15AM
Most people know Meredith Baxter as Elyse Keaton, everyone's favorite mom from the hit '80s sitcom Family Ties. But now the actress reveals to PEOPLE that she's ready for the world to see her in a different – and surprising – way: "I'm a lesbian mom," she says.
Before Baxter, 62, first started dating women seven years ago, the thought of being gay "had never crossed my mind," she tells PEOPLE. Having been in three failed marriages to men (most famously to actor David Birney), she says of her many difficult years before coming out, "I was never comfortable with myself." But she's quick to add, "That doesn't mean I was questioning."
Now in a four-year relationship with building contractor Nancy Locke – the couple have lived together for two years – the actress, who continues to act and run a skincare company, says, "I feel like I'm being honest for the first time."
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