Ex-Viking: 'I still love him, he still loves me'

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 28, 2010 - 10:42 PM
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Kathy Griffin with fan Laura Barnum

There's a Ramsey County domestic assault accusation with former Viking Esera Tuaolo's name on it.

According to a Ramsey County Sheriff's Department report, an officer was dispatched to the 4400 block of Rosebriar Avenue in Vadnais Heights at 5:45 p.m. June 20. "Assault happened in the area of 300 Hwy. 96 in North Oaks. Adult male suspect was charged with domestic abuse, assault, and disorderly conduct, all misdemeanors," reads the incident report.

"It's blown way out of proportion," Tuaolo told me Monday. "And that's all I can say."

I was surprised that Tuaolo answered. Been trying to reach my friend for more pleasant reasons in the past couple of weeks and he's been ignoring my calls. He said he doesn't remember seeing my number.

"I still love him, he still loves me," Tuaolo said. "I've apologized. Don't put his name in there, he's not out.

"It's just one of those things that got blown out of proportion. And now that the state has control of it, I guess they are going to run with it."

Not having an enabling bone in my body, I chewed out Tuaolo: Are you crazy? You weigh 300-plus pounds! You can't ever put your hands on anybody in an aggressive way, and anybody who could provoke this kind of alleged response from you is somebody you should find a way not to love anymore!

Tuaolo is a very sweet man, but he can't afford to be pulled into a ludicrous love-makes-you-stupid-situation.

"I'm very embarrassed this happened," Tuaolo said. "It saddens me to jump online and see how people are talking about my kids. My head is just spinning."

Seems some people who type comments first and think later have conveniently forgotten that most domestic abuse cases involve heterosexual couples. FYI, this matter does not involve Tuaolo's ex-partner, with whom he is raising children.

Look, mom: It's real

Kathy Griffin must not care whose fingers she lets play in her hair.

While heading backstage Saturday at the Orpheum to meet fans, including Laura Barnum, Griffin gave me a few seconds (which you can view at startribune.com/video) before the first of her two performances.

Observing her on TV in the past couple of weeks, I couldn't help but notice that Griffin's red hair was looking especially vibrant. I'd guess that when Griffin was on "The View" -- helping Elisabeth Hasselbarknobite find her inner-submissive dog in a YouTube classic -- Kathy was wiggin' it. Griffin's schedule for promoting and shooting her Bravo show, "The D-List," is probably very hard on the hair; I figured the Emmy winner probably likes to give her natural mane a rest.

So was she rocking the wig or a weave for the Orpheum crowd?

"You can tug on it. It's my real hair," she said.

I did. It was.

"Can you believe it?" Griffin asked.

Our encounter was a delightful surprise, as I thought there was at least a chance the cheeky comedian would give me the finger instead of letting me play with her locks.

Griffin looks great. She is tiny. "110 Pounds, or Less, of Trouble," would be a good name for her next book. When she offered me her hand to shake, her tiny mitt was swallowed by mine.

Griffin vs. Bachmann

A spokesman for Rep. Michele Bachmann said nobody from her office shot video of an exchange between the Republican legislator and comedian Kathy Griffin.

"That wasn't us," said Dave Dziok. "The only person from Bachmann's office was Bachmann."

Griffin regaled us in recounting the encounter, which occurred a few months ago when they came into each other's orbit on their way to a gala in D.C. Knowing that the Orpheum was a stop on her tour, Griffin was elated to retell the story to Minnesotans.

"I think she [Griffin] took some liberties with the conversation. The congresswoman approached her and said You look great tonight," according to Dziok.

And that was Bachmann's first mistake, in my opinion. NEVER be the first to acknowledge the presence of a comedian, no matter how close they may stand, if you know they are gunning for you.

"Griffin went into what she said and all that. Bachmann tried to dismiss it and walked away," said Dziok. Griffin's version is that Bachmann gave poor answers to pointed questions before walking away. For example: Asked whether there is a specific reason she dislikes gays, according to Griffin, Bachmann gave a I'll-have-to-think-about-that reply.

Pelosi gets Minny do

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to the Juut Salon on Nicollet Mall to get her hair shampooed and styled Saturday. She was in town for a tour of St. Paul's Union Depot, which has been awarded $35 million in stimulus funds.

Bieber Fiever

Justin Bieber sneaked into the Mall of America for 10 minutes or so Monday.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com.

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