Tom Arnold can play the game — so well that it’s kind of scary. When we caught up with the former Best Damn Sports Show Period host in Sundance at the Greenhouse, he showed us a Machiavellian side we never knew he possessed. See, back in 2003, news reports wrongfully linked Arnold to a sexual-harassment suit filed by a hairstylist against his colleagues on Fox’s Best Damn Sports Show Period. According to the actor, he asked the network to pay his legal bills, and the female head of human resources told him no. This is where his tale of devious retribution begins.
Arnold and his co-workers had a party a few days later and invited the fortysomething HR director. When she arrived, Arnold “sent her a couple drinks,” and then enlisted the help of a young producer on his show, nicknamed “Firepubes.” (“He has red hair,” explained Arnold. “He’s 24.”) “I say, ‘Come here, you gotta do something for me. Keep giving her drinks, and I want you to dance with her,’” the True Lies star explained. “So he goes in, and he’s dancing.” As the night progressed, Arnold told young Firepubes that he was worried for the HR director’s safety. “I need you to drive her home,” he commanded. “And I need you to have sex with her.”
“‘Oh, dude, she’s like 48!’” lamented Firepubes, according to Arnold, who pressured him to go home with her anyway. The actor received a call from the young producer in the morning, who told him he’d obeyed orders. “So easy,” Arnold said. “She went in the bathroom, came out — like, naked. Done deal.” (A Fox rep we called yesterday only said, “We decline to comment about employment legal matters, past or present.”)
Arnold walked into the office the next day and stopped by the HR director’s office, asking, “Hey, did you have fun last night?”
“I just stayed there, smiling at her,” said Arnold. “The next day the lawyers came down and go: ‘We got some good news. We paid [your lawyer].’”
Now, we hear from a source at Fox that Arnold never actually got the money from them. But he has the story, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s the important part. —Darrell Hartman