Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hot Springs Mayor Ruth Carney figures in TMZ report of custody dispute with Disney star Tiffany Thornton

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM

TMZ COVERAGE: A Hot Springs angle.
  • TMZ COVERAGE: A Hot Springs angle.

TMZ has extensive coverage of a child custody dispute in Los Angeles involving musician Chris Carney and Tiffany Thornton, a star on the Disney show "Sonny With a Chance." The Arkansas angle is that Carney, who says his wife has spirited away their two children, including a two-month old son, tags his mother, Hot Springs Mayor Ruth Carney, with helping his wife.

Carney tells cops .... religion may be the catalyst for the alleged child stealing. She's very religious and deeply resents the fact that he's not.

Tiffany's rep tells TMZ ... "Mr. Carney's claims are false and are being dealt with in the proper forum." A source close to Tiffany tells TMZ ... she took the kids for their own safety. 

Religion issues are never far from the Carney family. Ruth Carney is the wife of Ken Carney, pastor of a Nazarene church that has become a power player in Hot Springs politics, often at loggerheads with the tourism establishment and the gambling empire at Oaklawn Park. They've brought faux historian David Barton to town to peddle his religion-influenced view of history. Religion affects everything down to the courts, where district judge Ralph Ohm often assigns defendants to Christian help programs. Ohm, you may recall, was among the attorneys advising counties NOT to issue marriage licenses to gay couples while that was temporarily legal. We wrote a cover story about the Hot Springs theocracy back in 2011.

And Chris Carney? He may not be religious now. But, for a time, he, too, found Jesus, as Leslie Newell Peacock reported. He had found Jesus and enlisted in the religious-oriented rehab in Ohm's court. But that was then.

UPDATE: Mayor Carney told the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record that there was no mystery about the location of the children. She said she'd helped her daughter-in-law travel to Arkansas so that she could visit her own parents in Texas. She said her son was struggling with alcohol abuse.

click to enlarge THE FAMILY: Tiffany, Chris and one of their children. - TMZ
  • TMZ
  • THE FAMILY: Tiffany, Chris and one of their children.

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